+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: The Power and Impact of Google Maps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    DC region
    Posts
    3,053

    The Power and Impact of Google Maps

    As a business operator I was blown away by the following post in google groups for business owners/maps.

    As maps or one box results are dropped into organic searches they have an incredible impact on businesses. I sporadically follow posts on this google groups. I have asked for and gotten help there. I have provided help.

    Mike Blumenthal and his blog follow these issues far more closely than I.

    After seeing the post I did an organic search for Denver florists and the results were different than reported.

    Sometimes raising bloody hell w/ at this group produces very fast results.

    here is the post by a business owner that blew me away:

    We own Denver Flowers, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. We have 2 retail
    locations in Denver, Colorado. Our url is www.denverflowers.com. We
    have been listed on Google for approx. 3 years. We have the #1
    natural position in Denver Flowers. We have the #2 natural position
    in Denver Florist. We have spent $118,000 in adwords advertising for
    the past 3 years.

    When performing a natural search for Denver Flowers you solely get a
    local map for Lehrer's Flowers: Denver, not Denver Flowers. When
    searching for Denver Flowers Denver, you get a map of one of our
    locations. When you search Lehrer's Flowers, you get no map at all.


    When searching any metropolitan area in the US, this type of mapping
    result NEVER occurs outside of Seattle, Washington. When performing
    the natural search for Seattle Flowers, the search result is a map for
    Seattle Flowers in Seattle. Every other metropolitan area returns
    multiple results for "flowers in xxxxx city".


    Lehrer's is our largest competitor in Denver and this has basically
    shutdown our business overnight. This update was done to the maps 36
    hours ago and there was an immediate, massive reduction in our
    volume. Approx. 95% of our business is internet based volume.


    As you are aware, it is impossible to actually speak to a person on
    the Maps team. I have contacted Google 7 times in the past 2 days and
    was solely able to speak with representatives from the adwords team
    and one main receptionist. The first 5 people on the adwords team I
    spoke to all agreed this was a major and transparent problem for my
    organization. The 6th person, Derek, said "the system works as
    designed". Google tapes all these conversations and they will verify
    my account.


    I called Navteq in in a desperate attempt to reach anyone to assist in
    helping me keep my company alive. I talked to 3 reps at Navteq. The
    first 2 representatives, including a supervisor said "I totally agree
    you have a major problem", the third representative was extremely
    helpful but her screen was showing different search results than the
    other 8 people I had already talked to. I have all of these names and
    times if you want verification of these discussions.


    I have sent probably 8 e-mails to various accounts in trying to reach
    someone at Google to assist with this problem over the past 2 days.
    These include e-mails to local-help@google, click-to-call@google and
    some account reached through the press link on Google's website.


    We are now less than 1 week from Christmas, our busiest time of year,
    and critical weakness in the "algorithm" for maps has bankrupted my
    company. This issue is not gray, it is very glaring and 100% of
    reasonable people - as well as Google's internal statistics of website
    traffic to our site - would back-up our account of the circumstances.


    We are simply desperate. We have invested $100,000s in our
    organization and have relied on Google as a honest partner in building
    our business. We have paid you over $118,000 and your stock price is
    a $675, all we want is someone to help us in getting our competition's
    map off the Denver Flowers page.


    PLEASE HELP us. I realize we are nothing to you, but my family is
    losing everything.


    Tim Johnson
    President
    Denver Flowers, Inc.
    720.273.2783
    There were some follow up posts, including one by a business person sympathyzing w/the business owner and another with a different outlook. This other person referenced that the business owner shouldn't put all his marketing reliance on Google.

    But frankly, what is an operator to do when the buying public is dramatically using search all the time and ignoring other marketing media.

    It really speaks to the power of Google Maps.

    Of similar vein, but seemingly not as critical I interacted with someone else who has suffered from G maps not having updated address information for about a year. Frankly the business operator didn't even realize there was an option to get google customer service reps to respond and help them to correct Google Maps information till months and months had passed.

    Of interest, this business operator referenced that there had been continuous problems with potential customers going to a wrong address over the year. After a while they started responding to the calls with a question asking where the misdirected customer got the wrong address. In every single case, according to the business operator the source of the information was google (google maps --because the website had accurate address information)

    In any case this is a system that has potential for amazing impact, can have serious impact on businesses, is essentially moving into a monopolistic position due to command of market share, and needs to see, IMHO serious improvement.

    (glad that business wasn't mine)

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    755
    it's truly staggering to see how much power Google really has...in a very scary way. good post EP. thanks for the nightmares

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    DC region
    Posts
    3,053
    There is another side to it that we typically can't find.

    Some businesses are huge winners off of google maps when inserted into organic searches.

    That is never going to be publicized, except in the rarest cases when somebody in the know has a slip of the tongue.

    In any case it is extraordinarily powerful.

    It is not advertising in a traditional sense. Google's algos and placement have enormous impact on businesses due to Google's market share.

    We expect that nobody is paying google directly for high organic placement or high placement within Google Maps.

    In any case its power is extraordinary as this case shows.

    BTW, the above business does have very high organic rankings when I checked the two terms the business referenced. The amazing thing in that case, as reported by the florist, that despite the high rankings the prominent placement of maps on the search page severely negated the business operator's strong organic rankings.

    That level of power is scary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Franklinton, LA, USA
    Posts
    3,786
    Who the heck is Navteq and what do they have to do with anything?
    You'll never shine if you don't glow

    Donna Fontenot - eBusiness Coach / Consultant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    DC region
    Posts
    3,053
    Quote Originally Posted by dazzlindonna View Post
    Who the heck is Navteq and what do they have to do with anything?
    Navteq is the mapping technology/company that Google uses.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    6,213
    They are a mapping company. Do they have a relationship with Google?
    Last edited by rmccarley; 12-20-2007 at 02:13 PM. Reason: EP beat me to it
    |
    Clue in soon!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    I've heard it's important
    Posts
    1,463
    I find it telling that the competitor mentioned in that note is also the biggest Adwords buyer for the term, given their adwords position on the page.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    DC region
    Posts
    3,053
    If you do an organic search now for Denver flowers you can see the issue that the writer is having:

    Mike has, I believe, coined the term "authoritative onebox", wherein a single business shows up in a maps onebox within an organic search.

    I suspect he coined the phrase from google patent writings by Bill Slawski here and in other writings

    My impression is that it appears the business with the authoritative onebox results has done a great job of mastering some of the qualities and characteristics of Google Maps rankings.

    (my computer is soooooo slow today Its taking forever to upload a screenshot image of the search results--you'll have to see them yourself)
    Last edited by earlpearl; 12-21-2007 at 07:05 AM.

  9. #9
    EarlPearl -
    Wow, thank you for posting this. That poor fellow's comment you've quoted brings two questions to my mind.

    1) I'm kind of alarmed to see him referring to Google as a business partner. Where is he getting language like that? Is this something that Adwords reps tell prospects? "Google will be your business partner"? Clearly, he feels that he's paid Google thousands of dollars and that they are in partnership. Why would he think this?

    2) He seems to be indicating that his Adwords spend entitles him to some type of quick response in Maps. Again, this concerns me. It's like saying, "If I pay Google enough in Adwords, they owe me, across the board." Are you reading his remarks like this, EarlPearl?

    I swear, this is just the most worrying thing about Google. In any other case, someone you were giving thousands of dollars to for some type of marketing would absolutely be expected to take care of your needs, but Google's combo of we're ad guys/we're in search enables them to disappear behind the "it's all an algorithm thing" too easily. Pretty scary stuff! I feel really badly for this florist.

    Miriam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    755
    Quote Originally Posted by MiriamEllis View Post
    1) I'm kind of alarmed to see him referring to Google as a business partner. Where is he getting language like that? Is this something that Adwords reps tell prospects? "Google will be your business partner"? Clearly, he feels that he's paid Google thousands of dollars and that they are in partnership. Why would he think this?
    it's hard for some to realize that even though you've pushed hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Google cash flow they have absolutely zero vested interest in you. in this fellows mind, he can't figure out that he wasn't doing business with Google, he was Google's business. TBH he should expect something in a fair world/system, but...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts