Third Party Appointment Services Hijacking Google Local Business Profile Panels

Oct 21, 2022 • 7:41 am | comments (2) by twitter mastodon | Filed Under Google Maps
 

Google Maps and local panels have shown booking, appointment, reservation, and other ordering solutions from third parties for many years. And while we have a way to opt-out, it is still causing a lot of confusion and frustration for these small businesses.

We covered this issue years ago with restaurants not wanting orders to go to some random third party they may or may not support.

But Colan Nielsen posted recently on Twitter about a dental office having to deal with this mess. He said "I'm really not liking this at all. Zocdoc appointment options being pulled into the business knowledge panel. This dental clinic doesn't want this and has to give a kickback to Zocdoc each time a user books an appointment through it."

He is right, this is super frustrating and I bet most of these offices have no clue about these third-party appointment systems showing up on their Google local listing.

Here is the tweet showing this example:

So I brought this to Danny Sullivan's attention and he did offer the help document for removing third party links. But as it says first "Contact the third-party provider’s support team or technical contact."

Google told Colan that the only way to remove those links was to contact the third party.

I get Google knows these businesses and offices are too busy to update their Google Business Profile listings with any details, let alone appointment links. So Google looks for ways to automate that but sometimes it might be too much. I know many restaurants that see their orders coming in from a third party vendor that they do not work with. So it leads to frustrated customers and potentially negative reviews. It is like pulling teeth - sorry, had to...

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update:

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