Google Places Problems?

by Jim March 30, 2016

One problem we encounter a lot with new clients is their lack of presence in local search aka Google Places. Mostly this is because business owners lack of understanding when it comes to claiming their listings in Google My Business. Occasionally though it’s because of a mismatch with Google data and your real physical address. For instance when we first moved into our current address 5 or 6 years ago Google had the address listed as “Fcy 2a 14 Lionel Road Mount Waverley” . “Fcy” apparently stood for “Factory” . We did not appear in local search until we had corrected this data so it matched other data sources like Yellow Pages. Once it was consistent and we had our structured data setup properly, we started appearing in local search.

Finicky Google Places Listings
Finicky Google Places Listings

I’ve seen a variety of data inconsistencies keep businesses from appearing in Local Search. These can be really simple things like Google thinks our address is 2a/14 Lionel Road not 2a 14 Lionel Road. It can be very frustrating dealing with these issues. So last week when we reported one such massive data error to Google, we got a very condescending, unhelpful response. The post “1500 addresses at one convenient location” was actually misnamed. It’s way more than 1500 addresses.

A Maps Data Problem

As I explain in this week’s show we became aware of an addressing issue in Google maps as one of our client’s customers got lost using Google navigation. Initially I thought it was only affecting a single stretch of the “princes Highway / Dandenong Road ” area I now suspect it is much bigger than that.  From the initial digging I have done, it looks as though Google has a problem with addresses that are on major highways, where there is a service road.  So in last week’s post I pointed out the data issue with Dandenong Road / Princes Highway. Basically if the service road is labeled as Dandenong Road, the premises will have a Dandenong Road address, if it is unnamed it will have a Princes Highway address.

No Dandenong Road In Dandenong
No Dandenong Road In Dandenong


If you knew the address though as Princes Highway you would end up at a car dealership in Oakleigh and not Dooley’s Irish Bar. The same applies for other highways.

Nepean Hwy or Brighton Rd
Nepean Hwy or Brighton Rd?

If you typed 81 Nepean Highway Elwood, Google would drop you off in St Kilda, it’s next best guess. If Google cannot find an exact match in it’s database it will try and find the next best guess as close to the suburb as possible.

The Fix?

One possible fix if you have this issue, is to log into your Google My Business Account, click edit, thend edit address. Zoom as far in as you can on the map and then drag the pin onto the major hwy or the service road, whichever correction you need. Inelegant but it seems to be working for some. I wouldn’t be waiting for Google to fix this anytime soon. I’d be interested to know how you go if you have this issue.





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