Reporting problems with Google Places (Part 1)

Until recently, it was incredibly difficult to notify Google about problems with the listings in Google Places.

The only place where it was possible to ask questions or highlight a problem was the Google Places support forum. This forum is very active and you can generally get some good advice whilst at the same time realizing that you are not the only one experiencing the problem caused by a bug in Google Places. Furthermore, Google employees also participate in the forum, offering support and striving to create a solution to the problem that you are experiencing.

Recently, Google has created a support centre for Google Places, but for me, it is quite unclear when it comes to providing information. The support centre offers a list of links, but does not explain how you should report problems and because of this you often find yourself going round in circles without arriving at any sort of quick fix.

Below is a screen print of these links:

http://support.google.com/places/?hl=en

The most important thing about the support centre are the forms that Google has put in place so that you can notify them of any problems. Below are a range of common problems and form that should be used in each situation to report the problem.

Mistakes in the details of your listing:
From time to time it is possible that Google may show incorrect information in your listing. Using this form you can correct errors in any of the following areas:

Name of the company
Address
Telephone Number
URL
Categories
Opening Hours
Description
Vouchers/Coupons
There is a variety of reasons for these errors, but in this post we will stick to how to fix them.

To notify Google about any of these problems, use the form below:

http://support.google.com/places/bin/request.py?contact_type=placesfrontline_data

In the case of categories, it is recommended to fill the 5 fields with relevant categories; this is because if you leave any empty, Google may insert categories that are not really related to your business.

If you clicked on the last link, you will have seen that the form is very straightforward. All you have to do is enter the email address that you used to create your Places account, enter the URL of your listing in the second field and select the area that has the problem. In the next screen, Google will ask you to enter the correct information that should be appearing in your listing.

Problems verifying a listing:
Sometimes, after verifying your listing with the PIN, it is possible that on clicking the link “see your business on Google Maps” you will see the Google Maps control panel with a message saying “we currently do not support the location”. To solve this problem, you can go into the listing editor and click the refresh button.

If this doesn´t work, you can report the problem using this form:

http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=es&ts=1399021&page=ts.cs

With this form it is also possible to highlight problems with listings created in bulk, using the bulk upload option. Generally, when you use the bulk upload tool, a Google contact will send you an email asking for any corrections or an email confirming that your listings have been approved and that they will be activated within roughly the next 3 weeks. Unfortunately, sometimes, after three weeks your listings may still not be active, appearing as “pending”, with this formula you can try and speed up the activation process.

Simply select the second option and you will have to answer a series of questions:

It is important to mention that in general it takes 3 to 4 weeks to receive a resolution to your problems, after having pointed them out using one of these forms. This may be a long time but at least you are a step closer to solving your problem!

After filling out one of the forms, it is normal to receive an email that confirms that they have received your message. It is recommended to keep this in case you need to follow up and make sure that Google is solving the issue. When you respond to one of these messages, almost 100% of the time a Google employee will answer, a good way to keep yourself up to date with what is going on.

On top of the forms and resources mentioned in this post, there are a range of others available for you to use, however, we´ll leave those for now so as not to stretch ourselves too much.

We hope that this post has been of help and we would appreciate it if you left your comments below regarding your experiences with Google Places, if you have had a problem and if it has been resolved.

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