The Frightening Power of Google Maps in Search Results

Dec 21, 2007 • 9:42 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

A story that emerges at the SEO Refugee Forums speaks volumes about the power of Google Maps in the natural/universal search results. A florist company in Denver is currently ranking #1 for their key terms in the natural organic listings. They have also invested over $100,000 in Google AdWords over three years.

The problem is that now that Google Universal search includes maps in the results, they're not showing up on the listings for whatever reason. Instead, the competition is. They claim that it has "shut down their business overnight." The owner is desperate and is trying every possible angle:

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.

....

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

It's scary how important Google Maps are now that people are going to desperate measures to keep their businesses and families alive. But it truly shows the power of Google and their technology.

For the sake of this business owner, I hope that someone at Google lists this company in Google Maps. I don't think they deserve to be shafted.

Forum discussion continues at SEO Refugee Forums.

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Comments:

Brent

12/21/2007 05:22 pm

From PubCon we found that you need to get "local" links to help you in Google Maps. If your business is in Denver, then you want to get relevant links from companines in the Denver area.

Ben

12/21/2007 05:29 pm

I see this so often its getting annoying. If you put your whole business success in the hands of the Google algorithm, expect for things like this to happen.

Feydakin

12/21/2007 08:10 pm

I've been seeing this for a while too.. Right now Google Maps lists a jeweler that moved 2 years ago (and has since gone out of business), lists several no longer there stores that never really were stores to begin with, and finally moved one store that moved a year ago.. Maps are great if you are a long established store, in most cases, but the update speed is pathetic..

Justin Seibert

12/23/2007 12:37 pm

I feel for the guy, but kind of agree with Ben. Like anything else in life, if you put all your eggs in one basket.... In terms of speed in changing, my experience is that Google maps are pretty quick to get you the post card if you're a new business; they take longer if you're existing.

Aaron

12/27/2007 08:07 pm

For some reason I thought of this post today, and see that Google has changed the maps result for "Denver flowers" - neither denverflowers.com nor thinkflowers.com was featured on the list next to the map. thinkflowers.com does quite well on the "more results" page. But where did denverflowers.com go? My current favorite Denver flower shop (well, Littleton), Yoshi Flowers, has a lousy website so I doubt that it gets much search engine love.

Kevin

06/27/2008 06:50 am

I actually did some web development work for denver flowers in 2005. The owner of the company, Timothy Johnson, tried to screw me out of almost $1000 for work I had performed to get his website back online after he got in a dispute with the original company that developed his website. To make a long story short, he paid 50% of my fee up front, then after I finished all development work and got his site back online, he stopped answering his phone. After a couple of weeks (and a bounced check), I disabled his site and he finally paid me. He then threatened to sue me, but nothing came of it. In light of my experience, I find it hard to believe that the sole reason his business ultimately failed is because of poor ranking in google maps. I assume I'm not the only person he tried to screw over in the 3 or so year history of his company, and it finally caught up with him. Now he's trying to blame google maps for his failures.

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