"Place Closed" In Google Maps: Close Your Competitors Down on Google

Mar 6, 2009 • 8:25 am | comments (2) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics
 

Google Maps Closed BusinessA few weeks ago, I wrote a story named Google Maps Closes Down Business When it is Still in Operation. In short, Google labelled a business in Google Maps as being closed, when it was actually in business and servicing companies. Back then, I thought it was an issue with a user not correctly setting his or her Google Local Business Center information. But I was wrong. It seems to be a bug with Google's Local Business Center.

We have several threads in the Google Maps forum and one longer one in the Google Maps Help discussion area.

Googler, Joel H described how this can work. But let me show you how you can do the reverse, i.e. close down a business on Google Maps without having access to that business.

Let's go to Microsoft's listing in Google Maps.

Then click on the "Edit" link on the left bottom side of the map bubble:

Closing Microsoft on Google Maps

Then click on "Remove Place:"

Closing Microsoft on Google Maps

Then check off, "it is permanently closed" and add a comment:

Closing Microsoft on Google Maps

My request went through and it likely will be rejected:

Closing Microsoft on Google Maps

Like I said, it will likely be rejected, because it is Microsoft. That is why I picked Microsoft. But for some smaller businesses, removing them, might slip through the cracks, like they did for these businesses.

If your business is verified with Google's Local Business Center, I don't think there is a way for anyone to make this request. But for the majority of business in Google Maps that are not "verified," this can easily be done and potentially hurt sales for those businesses.

"Community Edits," aren't they great? FYI, this is nothing that new. I am illustrating this not to have a bunch of people start removing businesses, but rather to make it harder for these things to happen. Clearly, this has turned into a bigger mess then one expected.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

Update: If you have this problem, you can learn how to fix it here.

Previous story: Google UK Testing "Classic" One Line Sitelinks
 

Comments:

Al Remetch

03/07/2009 12:26 am

Since I optimize map listings and move businesses into the top ten search results I was extremely interested in your story. In fact I didn't believe it. But I looked and found the link to remove a business. I didn't want to take the test as far as you did because I noticed that I had to sign it to do so. I was concerned that Google could track me down. Wouldn't this stop most people, the fact that they have a hyper link trail back to them.

diarmuid ryan

03/10/2009 03:24 pm

seems to be a dubious practice, and wide open to malicious use and anti-competitive behaviour

blog comments powered by Disqus