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Google My Business Opens New Spam Report Form

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - In The News, SEO Tips>Google My Business

New Feature Gives Users a Way to Report Misleading or Fraudulent Info on Business and Map Listings

Google’s rolled out a solution for reporting fraudulent activity related to both Google Maps and Google My Business. This solution, the Business Redressal Complaint Form, is designed to give users a way to submit complaints about “misleading information or fraudulent activity on Google Maps related to the name, phone number, or URL of a business.” This new feature was announced by Google My Business Community Manager Marissa Nordahl on February 27 and is now live. “If you come across a business name, phone number, or URL on Google Maps that leads to fraudulent activity, you can now submit a complaint using this form,” commented Nordahl in the Google My Business Help Thread announcing the form. Google’s had many issues over the years dealing with spam related to Google Maps and local business listings and results. Multiple listings for the same business, inaccurate hours of operation, keyword stuffed business names, and fake businesses are all prevalent. It was also common for competitors or malicious users to update business hours on unclaimed listings, sometimes posting inaccurate hours or marking a business as “permanently closed.” It’s also not uncommon for spam photos to appear in business listings, or for descriptions to be updated. This form gives businesses and users alike an opportunity to push back against this spam and take more direct action in addressing false information.

Lia

Google Introduces New Curbside Pickup & Delivery Features for Local Businesses

03/30/2021

Good news for local businesses that have adapted their business model during the pandemic – Google is launching new features that allow users to see a business’ curbside pickup and delivery options along with other important information within Google Maps and Google My Business.

Such information includes:

  • Delivery providers

  • Pickup and delivery windows

  • Delivery fees

  • Order minimums for delivery or pickup

Google is starting off small, and will be rolling this feature out only for Instacart and Albertsons Cos. stores in the U.S. However, there are plans to expand to Maps and other partners later on.

Google is also currently testing another feature that would improve the curbside pickup process for customers by providing real-time updates between the customer and the store.

Here’s what this would look like:

A customer places an order for curbside pickup on the store’s app and it gets added to Google Maps. Google will notify the customer when it’s time to leave to pickup their orders, and ask them to share their estimated time of arrival (ETA). Their ETA will be continuously updated depending on the customer’s current location and traffic flow. When they arrive, customers can check in on the Google Maps app, and even let the store know where they are parked, and someone will bring out their order for curbside delivery.

Google will begin testing this feature with grocery store chain Fred Meyer in the summer of 2021, but only in select stores located in Portland, Oregon. It is unknown if this feature will be rolled out to include other stores and locations.

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Users Can Now Upload Their Own Photos to Google Maps Without Leaving a Review

03/12/2021

Google Maps is making it easier for businesses to leverage user-generated content by allowing users to create helpful content within the app. 

The first update allows users to share their experience with a particular business through photos in Google Maps. Previously, users could only do this when leaving a review. The goal is to make it easier for users to share and find local business recommendations and treat Maps as more of a casual, social platform.

“With all the change our world saw over the past year, people are relying more than ever on high-quality, updated information about the places around them — like if a nearby restaurant is open or if a local grocery store has updated hours,” said Kevin Reese, Google Maps’ Director of Product in a recent blog post.

“To make sure your map reflects the real world, we make it easy for anyone with a Google account to contribute their local knowledge about more than 200 million places in Google Maps. These community-led updates help people everywhere make better decisions about what to do and where to go.”

The photo update option is essentially just a photo uploaded to Google Maps with a short description.

Users can add a photo update by finding a certain location in Maps and clicking the Updates tab. There, they can click on “Add a photo update” and upload as many photos as they please.

Google Maps Community Challenge

Google is also launching a new community challenge pilot that will encourage users to contribute reviews, photos, and updates to the Google Maps platform. The goal is to update over 100,000 business profiles in just one month.

Users can participate by going to the Contribute tab and clicking “Join the Local Love challenge.”

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