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Google Places - Data Gathering Change

Google Places is on the move again. As announced in the LatLong blog yesterday, Google will make changes to Places pages if information they gather from "trusted sources" or information provided by users is deemed more current than the business owner provided information.

"That’s why today, we’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner - even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know -- or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places -- the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change. Without requiring any effort on the part of the business owner, we’ll take measures to keep their listing up-to-date if our system determines that the edit is accurate. Of course, if the business owner disagrees or has even more recent information, they can always directly log in to their Google Places account and make further edits."

So, you will have the opportunity to correct any changes that Google makes that are incorrect, after you've received the email. I do wish that Google would send the email first, and allow a business to verify a change, rather than make a correction, if the "update" is erroneous.

As Mike Blumenthal says in his Local Search blog:

"There is also some irony that a Google forced change to a listing could occur significantly faster than an owner change to the description or category fields."

Right now Google is warning of up to four weeks for owner-initiated changes to a Places listing's description fields.

Make sure you open and read all emails from Google so that you do not have wrong information on your listing. 

Annie Buck
Sales Project Manager
Acorn Internet Services

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