This past February, in The Non-Place-Place Use Case I posted about how Google was delisting businesses that did not service customers at their locations but had not requested their addresses be hidden on Google Maps. Mike, Miriam and others chimed in on how lame this was. Today, I got this email about this “recent” update:
Guess they were busy with the Glasses thing…
5 Response Comments
I received one today as well Andrew. Google seems to be expanding this effort across multiple verticals.
Some of the business owners that got this email are in VERY obviously commercial locations. One is in a downtown office high-rise and not even a service area business at all. Hid his address anyway because he was so afraid of being deleted.
So I let Google know the algo used to send this latest flurry of emails is a little off.
BUT at least they are alerting people to the guidelines and explaining, instead of just whacking listings without warning. Which is what they should have done to begin with!
Linda, while not surprising, the fact that the algo to determine residential v. biz locations is off is still surprising.
Excellent summary of the study of local search factors Andrew. With the migration of Google Places to Google+ Local and the new scrutiny on a local businesses point of presence (Google Map Maker), Google Places and now Google+ Local launching and the change in Local Places policy to only locations that support face to face service, it seems like it is getting harder and harder. I will leave the remainder of my comment on your more recent post: https://www.localseoguide.com/google-email-on-businesses-based-at-residential-locations/ – Thanks for sharing.
The part I don’t get is how will Google verify that a business is operating from a residential location? By street views? By “red-lining” residential areas? What a can of worms this will open! There are a gazillion businesses (with commercial signage) that are located smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
And Google is giving the little guys “the next few weeks” before they start enforcing this policy. Is Google getting the word out by email only? Most “solo-preneurs” operating from home and most clearly affected by this i.e. pool cleaners, gardeners, maid services, etc., hardly ever look at email. They won’t know they are bleeding until they’re dead.
This should be interesting.