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Google Places Categories


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9 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:25 PM

Does Google have it in for you/me?  I've been scouring the internet, not just HR sorry, looking for good practices in making google places respond more reliably, or in some instances, just plain update.  I've located several sites that suggest that setting up categories properly is key.  Currently you can set up 5 categories through google's default categories and custom fields. The common recommendation is to set up the first and maybe 1-2 more using their defaults, then roll your own.

 

Several of the readings suggest that your custom categories are used like key phrases and should trigger a local listing result. I've set up 3 businesses with local listings and see nothing but inconsistency.

 

With two not even the primary category is triggering a listing, With one, one of the custom (this one's a stretch) categories sets it off.

 

Q1: Can anyone confirm that categories should work like key phrases and trigger the display of your listing?

Q2: If the answer to the above is yeah, then what gives? The categories were set up several months back which in itself should be plenty of time to update.



#2 bobmeetin

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 06:29 PM

Silence is golden???

 

I have submitted a couple (Places context help/correction) reports asking Google why this seems to be failing.  It makes sense to me that searching on primary category + city + maybe state or state abbreviation should return a local listing.

 

Search: category + city (add state if necessary)

 

Am I daft in expecting this to work?  Is there some potion that I should sprinkle on the keyboard that makes it all right?



#3 qwerty

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

How much competition is there?

 

Do the pages that do come up in the searches you had hoped to see yours show up for all have the category in question set up? If not, I'd say that's a pretty strong signal that Google's looking at something else and the category isn't a strong enough signal to trump the other(s). If they all do, that should at least indicate that it's a good idea to include it.

 

I can't imagine Google asking you what category a business belongs in without at least intending on using that information, but I have no idea how much weight they'd give it.



#4 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

Sorry I'm a bit confused in what you're asking. I confuse easily. Let me give an example:

 

patent attorney is a google category; blumenthal's list of google categories says it has an acronym of intellectual property. that sounds reasonable.

 

In my tiny town of around 20k people doing a lookup of:

 

patent attorney erie (co) or intellectual property erie returns the Places 7-pack. Good.

 

Same for New York, many cities. Nothing for patent attorney farmington massachusetts. Sunnyvale CA shows 1 result, Santa Clara 3.  No results for '

patent attorney mountain view' my client.  These are high tech communities where you would expect to find as many attorneys as restaurants. 

 

Similar situation for another client - different category.  It's baffling.



#5 qwerty

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:48 AM

OK, so it's not a matter of other businesses in the same category showing up instead of yours. And several months certainly seems like long enough for Google to have updated things. Sorry, I've got nothing.



#6 Jill

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

Could it be because farmington, mass is not a real place?



#7 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:31 AM

Yes/no - but bad spelling is a contributor.  Same negatory results for "Framington", however.  My home town of Geneva, OH (under 6500 residents) returns the Local Places 7-pack.  I don't understand and following the preferred path to get someone to check this is not working. I have double nothing. This cascades into Reviews which become meaningless if you can't find the business via the adopted path.



#8 Jill

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

The real town in Mass. is Framingham, and that one shows a 3 pack.



#9 bobmeetin

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:58 PM

Brutile, absolutely brutile. 

 

My laborious spelling still doesn't explain why Mountain View draws a blank.  Jeese, my client could hop on a bicycle and be at Google's main office in < 15 minutes. LOL

 

Anyway, I heard that Google or someone fessing up to be Google phoned him today asking about the business.  No details, stay tuned.  Spammers from faraway don't generally walk the extra mile and pick up the phone.



#10 bobmeetin

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 08:45 PM

When I spoke with the business owner about the phone call it was clear that he didn't know who called, but it seemed to be an overseas service referencing google - don't know.

 

Yesterday I found another path to submit a request to google, through google groups.  So I repeated the context of the Mountain View problem in which "google primary category + mountain view ca".  I got a quick but troubling response:

 

"Google does not always provide blended local or Places results.  There is nothing to fix, as it is not a problem."

 

As a small business owner you follow the rules to the letter, fill out a 100% complete profile, but it doesn't work.  Hah?  Why does it not work for city A yet works for 1000 or 1 million others?






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