It’s Apple Maps news week here at LSG.
Apple now appears to be publishing multi-location business listings taken directly from the businesses. Case in point, several electronic vehicle charging station chains have popped up on Apple Maps with a “provided by” notice on their profiles. As you can see from the screenshots in this post, Apple Maps is publishing business listing data from the following companies:
I also have found listings for another EV Charger network, SemaConnect, but those profiles use “More info on…” language v. “Provided by” and even though they are categorized as EV Chargers but they don’t show up for me when I search “ev chargers” or even “ev chargers Fremont” or any other city they are located in.
They only appeared when I searched for a specific street they were on such as “ev chargers hacienda dr” (a street in Pleasanton, CA) that has three ChargePoint stations and one SemaConnect station. But even then, the SemaConnect station shows up at the bottom of the list. It seems like the other companies have some kind of prioritization over SemaConnect. My speculation is that these “Provided by” businesses have the greatest amount of authority in Apple Maps’ algorithms.
Many people are saying that EV charging stations showing up on Apple Maps so soon before a new Apple event is a sign that there may be some news at the event about the rumored Apple Car. I am saying that this is even more interesting – at least from a Local Search geek’s POV – in that it’s a sign that Apple is now publishing listings it gets directly from multi-location businesses and treating them as the source of truth v. say a Yelp profile. This is most likely because EV stations are a relatively new type of business and the listings are not available in a lot of traditional databases – hard to believe, but none of these stations are listed on Yelp yet. We are now seeing other non-traditional businesses with similar “Provided by” messages like parking lots provided by Parkopedia:
Since the launch of Maps Connect, Apple has been accepting listings feeds from large multi-location businesses, but this is the first incidence I can recall where it is publishing those listings as the source of truth with branding.
It’s possible this is but the first step in a model where trusted businesses have much more control over their Apple Maps listings than say its Google-cough-My-cough-Business Listings…
h/t to AppleMapsMarketing super fan Michael G!