If you’ve been hoping to edit your business in Google Map Maker, it may be a little more difficult than it was just a few weeks ago. Google recently suspended everyone’s access to the service after a few online trolls, pranksters, and spammers slipped in a few uncouth and high-profile edits. However, don’t expect this temporary loss of Google Map Maker to leave you out of luck if there’s a problem with your listing. Here’s what you should know about coping with the suspension.
What Is Map Maker, and Why Does the Suspension Matter for Businesses?
Map Maker served as a means for business owners to ensure that their businesses were properly located on Google Maps. For example, if your “location pin” on the map was not located at the actual building you were in, you could move it to be as accurate as possible. It also served as a “crowd sourced” means for Google to improve its overall map service. This worked great as a trust-based system for a while, but there are always a few bad apples out there who ruin things for everyone. With the service suspended, it’s no longer quite as simple for business owners to make changes to their map pins.
Should You Be Worried About Prank Edits to Businesses in Map Maker?
Google has claimed that there will be anti-prank measures and authentication for edits once the service is back up—meaning that, if you haven’t been vandalized yet, you never will be. You definitely don’t need to worry about prank edits now, and it really wasn’t a major concern for most users even before the suspension. Unless you were engaging in a Hatfield-and-McCoy-like feud with a rival business, any pranks specific to your business were pretty unlikely. However, going forward, it’s still a good idea to be reviewing your listing regularly enough that you could catch an unlikely prank if it ever happens. And, of course, you should still check that you are remaining visible.
Is the Suspense Killing You? There Are Alternatives in the Meantime
While Map Maker itself is temporarily unavailable, there are still other methods to ensure that you and your business can be found:
- Ensure that your Google Plus Local profile is accurate and up to date. This is critical. Were it not for the ability to verify your Google Plus Profile with its actual location on the map, you would have no reason to make edits through Map Maker in the first place!
- Suggest an edit. If you are showing up on the map, but some information is incorrect or incomplete, you can “suggest edits” to Google directly from the map. If you missed the link to submit edits the first time, pull up the page again. The link can be easy to overlook.
- Check your local citation profile. If your business doesn’t show up on Google Maps at all, double-check that your Google Plus listing is accurate, and then make sure that you have a good local citation profile. Google uses the information on many sites—Foursquare, Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc.—to verify your actual location. Yext is a great tool for getting an idea of how you are represented on local search sites and for pointing you in the right direction to claim and update these profiles. Additionally, Yext lets you clean up the majority of these citations and offers a suppression service that will prevent bad information from popping up.
- Go through Google’s My Business Locations. Don’t forget that you can also still edit your location details with the Google My Business Locations page. If you’re having trouble making changes or correcting information, you can also contact Google directly to clean up bad data.
Troubled? Confused? Don’t worry. If you still have concerns about using Google Maps or adjusting to the suspension of edits in Map Maker, you can get answers today by calling the team at Foster Web Marketing at 866-460-3724.