Dear Google Places Google+ Local,
Hi. We’ve been together a long time now, longer than many celebrity marriages. And yet I don’t feel that we’re communicating very well. Actually, I feel like I’m asking a lot of questions and trying to make changes to make you happy and I go ignored. How is that supposed to make me feel? Oh. That’s another question I suppose you won’t want to answer.
When we were first together, I followed all of your rules and guidelines. I went through the process of getting my bulk feeds verified or “white listed” as you once called them. I painstakingly tried to remove duplicates and let you know when there was misinformation running across your pages. Sometimes you’d listen. Sometimes you wouldn’t. Sometimes you’d punish me. My frustrations grew but I didn’t want to leave you. You were too important.
And then you decided to reinvent yourself as “Google+ Local” and that’s when things really got tricky. Everyone goes through phases, I get it, but I couldn’t help feeling lost and confused. No longer did my old “Places” get their own spot in your results; they were merged with this younger, fresher “Plus.” And with Plus there are new rules that a lot of the time don’t really work that well with what the old Places had set up. How in the world can the new Plus pages gain that oh-so desirable “verified” seal when it needs to sync with a Places location that exists under a different account (even though that followed all the rules you set out prior to you becoming “Plus Local”)? In your reimagining of yourself, you left behind some old friends who really want to stay with you. How can we all get along when the rules are different for everyone?
Of course, we have to talk about trust. I trust you to share the information I provide you, yet you constantly trust 3rd party sources and other people over the details I provide in what I believed to be – because you told me it was — a verified account. If something changes and I submit an update, why does it not change when I submit it through the dashboard I worked so hard to gain access to? Why is it sometimes easier and better to submit a change through MapMaker? I’m hoping you understand some of my frustrations.
I really like you, Google Places Google+ Local. I’ve had your back for a long time and I continue to believe there’s good and value in you. But users like me? We need some answers and help. Here’s are some suggestions/tips for you:
- How to integrate Places & Plus pages, particularly for Places accounts with verified Bulk uploads
- Give more authority to information submitted/created in verified accounts to prevent inaccurate information across the web
- Alert accounts to changes submitted via MapMaker that contradict information in the LBC/dashboard
- Simpler merging/resolving of duplicate listings
I know we can work this out. It’s been too many years, too many updates, too many reports, too many listings to just throw it all away. We both want the same thing: To provide users with accurate information regarding businesses. I’m happy to help you but you’ve got to help me as well. As the ancient saying goes, help me to help you.
I hope we can work this out.
PS- Also, some countries don’t use postal codes. You may want to remove this “requirement” for such countries since it’s impossible to meet.