EarlPearl at SEO Refugee Forums notified me of a Google Groups thread where an employee at Duke Medical Center named Bart said a search for Duke Medical Center in Google Maps returns "two different entries in the top 10 results, neither of which is correct."
He explains that the "numbers lead to particular doctor's offices, and they are being swamped with calls from people trying to reach the main medical center." Bart also said that he was told to update his business listing, which he did but unfortunately the "other wrong ones still remain" incorrect. So the pattern continues.
Here is a screen shot the results:
Out of curiosity, I called the first number in the list. I asked the person if they get a lot of calls asking if this is Duke Medical Center. The nice lady said yes and explained they are trying to fix the problem, but didn't know more.
The problem with most yellow page directories and even infoUSA and Dun and Bradstreet like databases is that they are out of date. But they are not such an issue when they are used on a limited basis. When it comes to Google, people use Google a lot more than they use an infoUSA database.
To be clear, I am not sure if this is an infoUSA type of issue. Google can and probably does, crawl the open web to harvest these numbers. For example the Duke Health Locations page has a listing of offices and numbers to call. But they clearly label each one out. I was chatting with a friend who pointed out, ironically, Duke uses Google Maps on their hospital location page. Note, that this search shows the actual hospital (the one at their hospital location page) as letter F in the results.
There must be an easier way for medical centers, police offices, other governmental agencies and emergency agencies to update their information on Google Maps, Yahoo! Local and the like. Because right now, this is simply not working.
- Report error link on this page
- State on the page that the numbers may not be 100% accurate
- Educate emergency agencies on how to update all, not some, of their listings
- Be more proactive with certain listings over others
I know these listings change but there has to be a better solution.