Google Places is one of the great Search Engine Optimization tools that are free on the internet. It does a good job of getting your company found locally, and if optimized well, will start to show up in search results. For protection, Google makes you Verify your Google places page before you can do anything. This allows Google to avoid Scams and Spams. Once you verify your page, you can then control all of the editing fields and fully optimize your page.
At least, that is how it is supposed to work. Some users, including myself, have begun to find some flaws with the Google Places platform. One issue that comes up a lot is that owners of the Google Places page cannot grant access to SEO Specialists without giving them their Gmail log in information. Some business owners don’t feel safe giving their personal email log in information to anybody because then they could look at their personal emails. This can become an issue. Google Places should adopt the “administrator” feature that Google+ and Facebook uses. It would make it much simpler for SEO specialists and business owners to fully optimize their Google Places account.
Another reoccurring issue I have been hearing about is how the new Google Places feature “Post to your Google Place page” has not been working properly. It is very much like Twitter where you can post an update about your business with a max of 160 characters. Only problem, is that it is not posting! Over the past few weeks, many Google Places page owners have been trouble getting their updates to post on their page. Vanessa from Google says “The Post to your Place page feature should update to your listing near instantly, but we’re experiencing some technical issues with that right now. Expect a fix very soon.”
Finally, a problem I have noticed recently when trying to update a client’s Google Place page, is that even when you enter in certain information like a phone number, it does not update immediately. In fact, it’s been a month since I added a phone number, but the listing only shows a fax number. I’ve deleted pictures but the pictures never came down. I do understand Google needs to review all changes, but I feel that if you have claimed that page and are a verified owner, why can’t the updates happen any quicker? Imagine a situation where a business gets a new phone number or address. They can go ahead an update their Google Places listing through their log in, but the information may not be updated for a month or more. That’s a month where a lot of potential business can be lost. I suggest Google either make their Google Places update process quicker, or have a customer service number to call to edit this vital information quickly.
Google Places is still a very effective tool and I recommend it for any SEO campaign you are looking to begin. It’s a great way to advertise your business and a great way to improve your search results. I believe that Google will come around and fix these problems I have mentioned, and when they do, it will become a much more effective and user-friendly tool.
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