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Maps:

Four big changes coming to Google Maps

Posted on April 9, 2021

A blog post from Google has drawn attention to how the company is using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance (more…)

Posted by John Murray

New Google Maps feature can boost business

Posted on December 7, 2020

Search giant Google has recently rolled out a new “community feed” on its Google Maps platform, signalling a further development in the platform’s “social features” that also (more…)

Posted by Emily Jones

Help! Google Maps has got my business location wrong!

Posted on August 27, 2020

There’s no doubt that Google Maps is a wonderful tool that has revolutionised not only how we get from one place to another, but also how businesses make themselves visible online. However, much like with Wikipedia, its sheer volume, plus the fact that it relies on (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Google Maps to predict how busy public transport will be

Posted on July 2, 2019

Online giant Google has recently announced that it will be giving its Google Maps service a new update that will offer live traffic information to (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Study estimates millions of business listings on Google Maps are fake

Posted on June 24, 2019

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google Maps is now littered with business listings and contact numbers that are not genuine, with many rerouting to competing companies.

Thousands upon thousands of new, fake listings appear on Google Maps each month and the Wall Street Journal believes that the service could have as many as 11 million fake business listings on the site at present.

Back in 2017, Google itself self-funded an academic study into this subject and concluded that only 0.5% if local searches were not genuine listings. However, the Wall Street Journal’s investigation says otherwise. The Journal searched for business listings of plumbers based in New York City and it found that more than half (13) of the top 20 business results were false listings. Furthermore, it found that only two were genuine businesses that adhered to the guidelines set out by Google. These guidelines stipulate that all pushpin listings must detail locations that are open to customers.

The Journal’s research suggests that companies not based in the locations suggested by their listings are likely to include repairers, car towing companies and contractors. Google internally refers to these businesses as ‘duress verticals’ as they are the types of businesses people would turn to when they have an emergency and wouldn’t spend much time looking into the business’ credibility. The research was diluted by Google’s inclusion of hotels and restaurants, which are nearly always at the location detailed in the listing.

In order for a business listing to be verified, Google sends out a numerical code to these companies – either through an email, a phone call or by mailing a postcard – to show that they are genuine. However, it is thought that this system is fairly easy for scammers to get around by providing fake phone numbers and addresses.

This loophole in the system can damage genuine businesses and their potential customers, while the scammers, and even Google, seem to benefit. In the time since the Journal’s investigation, Google has removed the fake listings, with a spokesperson for the online giant stating that the company has since added new defences for business categories classed as high-risk.

Google has also announced that it will be giving businesses more options to customise their business listings through the My Business feature. Though this, companies can offer first-time visitors a discount on products and services, set a cover photo, and claim a shorter URL.

Furthermore, in a blog post, Google has stated that it will be working on new ways for people to report any suspicious business listings they find.

Posted by Alan Littler

Google Maps to add messaging feature

Posted on January 10, 2019

Search giant Google has recently introduced an update to its Maps tool – a messaging feature.

Over the years, Google Maps has (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

How can your business use Google Maps?

Posted on September 11, 2018

In my entire working career, I’ve certainly never had a job that’s had anything to do with cartography. However, almost every company I have worked for has found some way to use maps, and some knowledge and appreciation of geography has come in useful.

This is no different with Engage Web. Since our content marketing service calls upon (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Google launches video reviews in Maps

Posted on September 18, 2017

Search giant Google has recently launched a new feature that allows users to create and submit video reviews for Google Maps.

While we are still a (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler
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