Google Places: A Good Tool With Room for Improvement
When you need to find a restaurant, hotel, dentist, coffee shop, dry cleaner, or any one of a thousand other types of businesses, where do you go for the information you need? If you’re like most people, you visit websites like Google Places. These websites offer all sorts of information about a business, including an address, contact information, photos, descriptions, and links to reviews and maps. These websites are incredibly helpful, both for people looking for businesses, and for business owners looking for customers. But like anything else, these websites do have issues.
For example, if you were to visit a business based on information provided by Google Places, only to show up and find that the business had closed, you could do something about it. You could go to that business’ Google Places listing, go to the section marked “Report a Problem”, and click the option labeled “This Place is Permanently Closed”. And this could be a great tool – if only it were that simple. Because it’s not just well meaning people using this tool; business owners can also use it to virtually “shut down” their competition. And that can be devastating to a business.
Of course, Google says it is working on ways to correct this problem. But change isn’t coming fast enough for many business owners who have been virtually blacklisted. This is why if you’re a business owner, it’s so important to pay attention to your Google Places listing – as well as your listings on other, similar websites such as Bing and Yahoo, which also have versions of the “This Place is Permanently Closed” tool. Because alongside those tools, there are another tools you can click on, labeled “Not True”. Of course, this can’t stop people from clicking on the permanently closed tool again.
But paying attention can help business owners know what is going on with their online listings. If nothing else, they can post specials and comments, hoping that potential customers are smart enough to look past the fake closing. And for those of us who rely on websites like Google Places, it means taking a few extra minutes to read all the details. After all, there’s no sense missing out on a great business just because they have been victims of the click of a button on Google Places. Websites like Google Places are great tools, both for business owners and for customers, but they do have room for improvement.Tags: business, business owner, business owners, good tool, Google Places, google places a good tool with room for improvement, great tools, one of a thousand, potential customers, types of businesses