Search Engine Marketing

Poor Customer Service, System Errors Plague Google Places

Barry Schwartz recently addressed the flood of complaints concerning major system errors on Google Places that have plagued business owners as they attempt to update their data. As users try to change the information on their Places page, they receive the following message:

google, places, system, errors

Google Customer Service Non-Existent

Is Google Invincible?

As the thread of Google Places complaints posted to the search engine’s support forum continues to grow, and we all wait anxiously for a fix, Google remains unresponsive despite continued tweets and celebratory blog posts.

Yet, a string of questions remains:

· If not now, when will the error be addressed?
· How can business owners respond to Google’s complacency?
· How can they turn up the volume of their discontent?
· Are errors, downtime, and slow response inevitable with the size of Google?
· Does Google assume they know our business better than we do?
· Should business owners expect better?
· Has Google forgotten that we are the customers?

Learn from Google’s Apathy

On the heels of our online reputation management series on the Rosemont Review, and as we prepare for the #RMSEM webchat to get further feedback from our audience, one of the most important aspects of online reputation management that we continue to highlight is the need for engagement, acknowledgement, and action. Engage. Acknowledge. Act.

If searching for a little inspiration, perhaps a reread of Google’s mission statement is in order.

Rosemont Media’s Love/Hate Relationship with Google

In the coming weeks, the Rosemont Review will address the above questions and frustrations, as well as our own love/hate relationship with Google as a search engine marketing firm, which will include an interview with our own Google Places expert, John Forrest. On any given day, Forrest deals with the tedious and lengthy process associated with multiple Google Places profiles.

What complicates this process and fuels the perpetual cycle of claiming, merging, and deleting multiple listings for the same business (a practice forbidden in Google Places guidelines) is the fact that Google automatically creates these profiles based on information from other databases. Thankfully, Forrest is adept at navigating the cavernous void that is Google customer service. However, despite his list of sources and cache of Places knowledge, viable solutions often take days, even weeks to implement.

What would Forrest do if given the keys to Google Places? “It would be great to see one main business listing established. Then, aggregated listings from other databases and review sites, such as Angie’s List, Vitals, and Health Grades, could feed into and influence the main listing. In its current form, each new listing creates another separate profile.” Forrest also had plenty to say about the confusing mash up of Google Places, Google Local, and Google Local Business Center, but that’s a topic for another time. Tune in tomorrow for the full transcript of the interview with Forrest, which includes his answers to the list of questions above.

Hello? Anyone Home?

As we strive to provide our clients with cutting-edge SEM strategies, relevant and compelling content, diligent keyword curation, and measurable results, we are typically Google evangelists. However, as Google ignores customer complaints, the pot may begin to boil over.

Check in with us our Facebook or Twitter page, and tell us how you have been affected, good or bad, by the conundrum that is Google Places.

Keith Humes

About

Keith Humes is Rosemont Media’s CEO and Founder. Since 1998 Keith has been at the forefront of Internet Marketing with Surgeons and Dentists. He continues to stay ahead of the curve and offers innovative insights to the world of healthcare marketing. Keith also lectures nationally at leading industry events, such as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium.

Keith is an avid fisherman and master-griller. Next to fishing, Keith’s favorite activities include surfing, and spending time with family & friends.