Google Maps Merging Competing Business's Local Information

Apr 29, 2009 • 8:30 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

I found a very disturbing Google Maps issue via Google Maps Help forums. Mike Blumenthal has uncovered that Google is merging competing businesses that have nearby addresses. Let me say that again, but show you an example, that was uncovered by Mike.

Here are the results for two different hotels/motels in the same area, but that have different addresses. The map result for South Pier Inn displays the correct information, but their competitor, The Inn on Lake Superior is somehow merged into this record, showing the South Pier Inn's information and web address, while not showing the Inn on Lake Superior's information. They did however, merge both hotel's phone numbers. Here is a picture:

google maps merge

Googler, Nina, responded in the Google Maps Help thread saying:

Yes, the algorithm for merging changed recently. The developers who work on this have been alerted and are actively working to address this problem. They are also reading this thread.

The fix needs to be automatic - not manual. These things usually take several weeks to test and bring live. We know it's causing user pain and I know they are working really hard on it right now as we speak.

Clearly Google knows how big of an issue this is and I hope it gets fixed soon.

Mike Blumenthal has posted more information on this topic at his blog.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

Update: Marty at aimClear blog wrote about this on the 21st.

Previous story: Google Tests Location-Aware Toolbar
blog comments powered by Disqus