Google Maps / Local Wrong

Mar 4, 2005 • 8:35 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics
 

I know its in beta, like almost everything else they release, but this is just embarrassing in my opinion. I was chatting with Gary Price at SES about Google Local. He showed me that Google Local for a search on What: "search engine" and Where: "mountain view ca", brought up Google Inc as number one (see here). Now he said if you try the number, 650-318-0270, it is the wrong number, I did not try it. Second thing, I noticed is that you see the hyperlinked URL "digitalpoint.com". Now what, at all, does that have to do with mountain view ca search engine companies? DigitalPoint is located in San Diego, they are not a search engine, and I think they are not even friendly with the company.

google-local-wrong.gif View Large Image

Gary told me he discussed this with some one at Google and their response was something to the effect of "mistakes happen and Google is always working to improve the system". When I told this to Matt Cutts yesterday, he said, "oh really?"

Then Gary was kind enough to share some more fun examples of problems with Google Local, from my office town, Suffern, NY. This is what he emailed me:

Attorneys, Suffern NY http://local.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=attorneys&near=suffern+ny&btnG=Search&sc=1&rl=1

Lawyers, Suffern NY http://local.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=lawyers&near=suffern+ny&btnG=Search&sc=1&rl=1"

Results should be the same, IMHO

Also, according to a couple of other local directories, Suffern has a few italian restaurants. Google says just one and it's not the first result. http://local.google.com/local?hl=en&lr=&q=italian+restaurants&near=suffern+ny&btnG=Search&sc=1&rl=1

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Comments:

Eli

03/04/2005 02:57 pm

Hi Barry, I think the URL listed on bottom is just one of the many results from local search that mention a "search engine" named Google Inc at that location. If anything, this attests to the power of Google Local. A search for "Feldblum" in NY, NY (http://www.google.com/local?sc=1&hl=en&q=feldblum&near=ny%2C+ny&btnG=Google+Search&rl=1) finds me at Did-it.com, but more from a press release distributed over emediawire.com than from Did-it.com. That URL is the source of Google's info, not the URL of the item searched for. If you click on the title, like Did-it.com or Google, you'll get the correct URL. Same with the number being wrong. This isn't a yellow pages directory, but an engine crawling and scraping data--which is sometimes wrong. Not that there isn't anything wrong with Google Maps; they have ways to go: Check out http://www.payperclickanalyst.com/elifeldblum/archives/2005/02/google_gets_map.html for some thoughts.

Barry Schwartz

03/04/2005 04:31 pm

Hey Eli, Yes I noticed that. But seems bad to have a hyperlinked url of an other company in the description area for Google. But I do know why it shows. Thanks for clarifying.

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