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Thread: Worst impact and results from the insertion of G maps into organic searches

  1. #1
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    Worst impact and results from the insertion of G maps into organic searches

    As a webmaster and business operator I'm not happy with the insertion of G maps into organic results.

    Even while it is not positive for my serps, rankings visibility etc. beyond that I've seen numerous mistakes in the data. It ends up potentially creating a poor user experience.

    Additionally, it can lead to major problems for businesses, entities, services, etc.

    While G has set up a mechanism to voice problems and complaints they are unnable to correct things quickly.

    But here is the worst complaint of all to date....and its a serious doozy.

    I work at Duke Health in Durham, NC. This organization includes many
    hospitals, clinics, and other entities.

    In Google maps, a search for "Duke Medical Center" returns two
    different entries in the top 10 results, neither of which is correct.
    They both have the wrong phone numbers. These numbers lead to
    particular doctor's offices, and they are being swamped with calls
    from people trying to reach the main medical center.

    I cannot stress how unacceptable this situation is. I've contacted
    support at Google (that contact form has since been removed), and was
    advised to use the "Google Local Business Center" to manage
    locations. So I managed to correct a particular entry for Duke
    Medical Center, but other wrong ones still remain.

    You can't possibly expect us to track down all of these invalid
    locations, and try to obtain the mailed postcards to get them removed
    or corrected. Some of the addresses are wrong and we wouldn't even
    get the cards!

    And why do some locations show a listing of multiple phone numbers?
    See this search result to see an item that returns no less than FIVE
    phone numbers at once, all of which are wrong.

    Right now, the only solution I see is to block Google crawlers from
    indexing any sites, as it currently seems that any phone number found
    on any site may show up for any random result in Google maps.
    Last edited by skitzzo; 02-21-2007 at 11:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sending people off to bother the wrong doctors when they may have a medical issue may not be premeditated evil, but it's certainly negligent evil.

    That's certainly an ugly example of what can go wrong.

  3. #3
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    As I posted on Digg, I don't think this is going to be anything other than a headache for people (I mean seriously when you have an emergency do you Google Map the route to the hospital or do you call 911) but as EP pointed out to me, having to answer a ton of wrong number calls will at the very least make you less efficient, and could distract you from doing your job and stress you out enough to where you make a mistake.

    Pretty much it's just not a good situation to put people in.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skitzzo View Post
    (I mean seriously when you have an emergency do you Google Map the route to the hospital or do you call 911)
    Maybe. That's just me though.

    -Michael
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    The SEO issue is that G maps includes an enormous volume of bad, old, erroneous data and via G maps this may show at the top of queries.

    It has only been showing for about 3 weeks in its most expanded form.

    The G maps insertion is extremely strong, dominates the page and will certainly command all calls.

    Imagine bad phone numbers and information dominating the page through G Maps and right below it are the actual serps with the website and all the accurate updated information.

    The complaint shows just how powerful G maps is.

    The issue is that G maps has so much old outdated information that it is a classic case of garbage in garbage out.

    In this case it is negatively impacting an important institution.

    As a business operator I can't tell you how much it screws up a business or any kind of entity when you spend enormous amount of time answering wrong phone calls.

    Currently Google doesn't have an effective or quick way to correct bad information. The information is not from current websites but from old outdated directories.

    Its a real backwards step for Google. Meanwhile it doesn't seem as if the complaining person's efforts will work because if the information is coming from maps it is not coming from the website and you could block spiders from here to eternity and it won't have an impact.

    Dave

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    I think it's just another symptom of a major problem with Google: no accountability, no way to correct errors.

    I'm willing to bet this is costing a lot of people more money than Skitz lost to Adsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skitzzos_pop View Post
    I think it's just another symptom of a major problem with Google: no accountability, no way to correct errors.

    I'm willing to bet this is costing a lot of people more money than Skitz lost to Adsense.
    I'll agree with that. I think they are trying so hard to shove this local and personalized search down our throats that they don't care if the info is wrong, so long as it's up there and LOOKS like it's working.

    I mean switching over to personalized results automatically and not giving you any way to switch back other than logging out of their services? Come on!

    It's one thing if I search for [Pizza Hut collinsville, IL] but I don't want to see the same results when I search for [Pizza Hut]. It's sort of like the news taking whatever important national story and breaking down the local angle of "Billy Bob's son works for Company J who helps supply the World Series Champion Cardinals with their ice - we caught up with Billy Bob to find out how the championship affected him"

    Give me a break. I want the story. If I ask for local results, then fine, give me local results. Otherwise just serve up your normal information how bout it? Oh, and if I DO ask for local stuff... GET IT RIGHT!

  8. #8
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    Also, think of the abuse potential. Look at a query like this one:

    [los angeles abuse hotline]

    Now, I assume that number is correct, I just did a random search to illustrate my point. However, what if it weren't? What if not only was it no longer the correct number, it was actually disconnected? How hard would it be for some predator type to request that number as a business number?

    The potential for exploiting this flaw is enormous.

    -Michael
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    Skitz is very clear about what behaviour caused him to start this site up. His ego is way too big and fully engaged - rmccarley

    It was just too much text. I couldn't read it. - rmccarley

    I'm not a prosecutor, but Dave thinks I should play one on T.V.

  9. #9
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    Google corrected the information for Duke TODAY!!!!

    I still see the same crummy mistake filled data for queries that effect my business.

    guess Google jumps through hoops for a few select institutions and allows everyone else to suffer!!!!!!


    After today Y has become my SE of choice.
    Last edited by earlpearl; 02-21-2007 at 04:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    Didn’t Utube sue YouTube because their server was crashing because of too much erroneous type-in traffic? I think the case got thrown out, but I believe this is a different scenario.

    I can’t see how small businesses could get organized enough to collectively sue, but if Google is publishing inaccurate information to the detriment of businesses, it would seem to be something that’s actionable. They need to have some accountability.

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