There’s a quick way to suggest changes to a business listing in Google Maps.
It’s quite an easy process.
Step 1: Locate the business profile in Google Search.
Step 2: Scroll down and click on the ‘Feedback’ link.
Step 3: Edit the contact details and press submit.
Let’s see how well this works with an example.
An experiment with submitting feedback to Google Maps
We’ve conducted an experiment to see how well this works and out of my curiosity of how quickly Google’s “feedback” (seen at the lower right corner of the google listing box) does change one’s google business listing after hitting the submit report button.
As we were working with a client on their new website we noticed that the Google business listing was categorised as “Permanently closed”. It was temporarily out of business but has re-opened with new owners.
We tested the feedback function to correct the listing prior to the launch of their new website.
There are 2 ways to do such edits:
1. Downward Arrow Method
Click the downward arrow on the “permanently closed” button.
It opens a dropdown saying “Business Name is recorded as closed at this location. If that’s wrong, please report it.”
Then simply click the “Report/Submit” button.
Make sure you are signed in because Google will send you an email saying:
“Your edit is being reviewed. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Business Name.”
2. Feedback Link Method
This can be located at the lower right side of the google listing box.
When you click that, it redirects you to the backpackers Google map.
At the left side, you’ll see a box with a title “Report a data problem”.
How well this process works
In this experiment we simply used method #1 and after clicking the “report” button we refreshed the site and surprisingly the “permanently closed” was gone.
It doesn’t seem like it is so easy all the time though.
Which is good because you can imagine if it was this easy with every listing then businesses would be forever correcting mistakes on their listings, defending themselves from hackers, spammers and other trouble makers.
Google filters feedback submissions
We carried out some further experiments to see how quickly feedback is actioned. In short, based on our few tests, it’s not predictable and we’re not quite sure why we could change the closed status of the client we were helping so promptly.
Going back to our experiment, we tried to see if Google is really figuring this out to be a valid change or it just let us change the status randomly. We searched the “Backpackers by the Beach” google listing again, hit the “feedback” and selected the “business is permanently closed”. Google then sent us email (remember, before you hit the “feedback” you must be signed-in to your email).
The next day we didn’t notice any changes to the businesses Google listing. It DID NOT update to “permanently closed” as it was the first time we searched for that business online. So we couldn’t undo our change, not that we wanted to anyway.
Sources get checked to confirm changes
Note that after submitting a change feedback google states “Your change will be compared to a variety of sources to confirm it’s correct”
In other words, Google won’t just update anything per a “feedback” submission without having it investigated or compared with other sources. Perhaps that means checking business directories or social media websites. If you are having trouble changing a status then maybe updating other mentions of the business on the web would be helpful. Chances it can be overlooked and approved instantly? Only Google knows.
We experimented with 2 other business listings to verify what happens. We were trying to alter what’s on the details of each business profile but we don’t seem to see any changes.
Araluen Mistletoe Cottages: We tried to change the office phone number to mobile. Nothing changed.
Serbian Crown (After reading an article by Kevin Pousen).
This restaurant is permanently closed since 2013, we tried to give feedback “Place is open”.
But after a couple of hours – no changes happen.
Maybe they check with Yelp? Facebook?
These experiments were just simple ones and may have been defeated by any number of automatic checks by Google to weed out ‘spam or hack changes’. In our observation of how we made “Backpackers by the Beach” go from “permanently closed” to “Place is open” instantly the moment we ticked the “report” button was at Google’s discretion. We don’t know what kind of effort they go to in gathering verification from other sources to justify one’s feedback submission. It would be easy for them to check what IP address we were on, whether we had done any other changes, how old our Google account is and many other checks that could weed out junk submissions.
Only Google knows. Yay! : )
Google Map Maker
At the time of writing this the Google Map Maker is not really available to use on Australian Google Maps. You can still access it but not use it for edits in Australia, yet.
What is Google Map Maker?
By sharing information about the places you know, like businesses in your town or roads in your area, you can ensure that the map accurately reflects the world around you. Ref: support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/157176
This is what you will get if you try and edit Australian locations with Google Map Maker.
It is available in many other countries though as indicated below.
There is a discussion about Google Map Maker for Australia here: plus.google.com/communities/103020678899511357712
The following is how Google explains the use of Map Maker for correction of locations.
That is, updating a place that isn’t a business.
How to report a data problem with Google Map Maker
If you see something wrong with the map, like wrong business hours, you can report it using the “Report a data problem” link.
To edit places that matter to you on Google Maps, you can use Google Map Maker.
Report a data problem
To report a data problem on the map:
- Open Google Maps and make sure you’re signed in.
- Zoom in and click where you see the problem. This can be a road, directions, an address, business, or other place. Or, search for the place you want to update.
- In the top left corner, click the main menu .
- Click Send feedback.
- Click Report a data problem.
- Follow the instructions to report your issue. To add a new place, like a restaurant or park, click Add a missing place.
- Click Submit.
Note: If you’re using Maps in Lite mode, you won’t be able to report a problem from within Maps. You might be able to submit edits using Map Maker instead.
What happens to your report
If you report a problem on Google Maps, your changes are usually submitted to Google Map Maker. Using Map Maker, people submit reports and review reports made by other users about missing or wrong information on the map. Your change will be compared to a variety of sources to confirm it’s correct.
Note: Not all reports go to Map Maker. Some are sent directly to Google for review.
So that’s how Google explains Map Maker.