Enjoy Super Fast Updates in the New Canadian Google Local Dashboard

Creating a new listing or claiming an existing business listing on Google Local can be an extremely confusing task these days. I work out of Ottawa, and a lot of the new features that Google Local rolls out, I get pretty late in the game. Today, I noticed a slight change in the claiming process and a few interesting tidbits that I’ll share here.

As some of your can remember, this is the old process (that I was will going through a week back) of searching Google Local’s database of existing listings:

google places search phone number

Today, this is what I was presented with after creating a new Google account.

new google places welcome

new google places

This may or may not be foreign to you if you are working with U.S. based businesses. I’m seeing this for the first time with a Canadian business (restaurant to be specific). The interface looks like the new Google Local dashboard Mike Blumenthal pointed out earlier this year.

UPDATE: I’m still seeing the old interface from time to time. From what I can tell, new accounts are being rolled into the new interface, while if you are accessing Google Places with an existing account, you will encounter the old phone number search page.

A few things I noticed while filling out and claiming my client’s listing…

Edits in Google Local now gets reflected within minutes!

By far the most interesting change is all my edits got reflected in Google search results within minutes (~10 minutes)! Prior to claiming this business listing, Google displayed only a plus.google.com link in the search result. Was lucky to be offered either a phone verification or a postcard – of course I went with a phone. The automated call came in and the listing was verified within minutes. I completed the listing to 100%, uploading one image (there was no image before) and all that information plugged right into Google’s knowledge graph box.


cathay restaurants google result before


cathay restaurant google local information updated within 10 minutes

FUN FACT: My parents used to own Cathay in Ottawa. They retired and sold the restaurant 3 years ago :)

Editing the address information can be tricky

I noticed for this business that I was claiming for – the postal code was not correct. After attempting to change it multiple times, nothing worked. The new postal code I wanted to replace the existing one with just wouldn’t save. It kept reverting back to the old one. Google does link you out to Canada Post (here link shown below) to check the postal code, and mine was actually correct (the existing one in Google was not). Bizarre!

postal code google local


But, there is a little hack to get that change at least to pending. By simply moving the marker over a mm or cm allows you save a new postal code (currently still pending).

Closing thoughts

The time it takes for Google to update local information seems to have sped up a lot. Seeing changes happen within minutes is quite incredible and really beneficial to local business owners. Share any thoughts you might have about this change or if you’ve endured something different.

Jackson Lo

Jackson is the Analytics / SEO Manger at adjump media and MENU.CA. His expertise spans from digital marketing (search engine optimization, local search marketing) to digital intelligence (digital analytics, data analysis). Very passionate about what he does, he also has big interests in photography and travelling.

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  • Mike Blumenthal


    Glad the new dashboard has finally arrived in Canada. You have it right… a newly claimed business will go to the new dashboard. If you claim into a dashboard with previously claimed listings it will take you to the old dashboard (where you can still use custom categories… ). Gradually Google will convert these old dashboards to the new dashboards (you will get an email) starting on the simplest ones (ie one business without adwords) first. Then move along to convert the more complicated ones. What they will with a dashboard that is claimed into two accounts is unclear.

  • http://jacksonlo.com Jackson Lo

    Thanks for the added info Mike. What fascinates me though is how quickly the SERPs information changes after you claim an existing listing and you make modifications via the new dashboard.

  • Mike Blumenthal

    Google has been changing the architecture of local from top to bottom over the past 1.5 years. Starting in Jan 2012 they moved local to the knowledge graph structure and replaced the “web results” architecture.

    This allowed them to keep a static canonical local listing to which they could add or update information. To do this they created new data pipelines into this canonical listing.

    Those pipelines have been rolling out as Google updated the front end(s) to the various inputs. First up was Mapmaker. Last April or so it got an update and the new data pipeline. With that new pipeline, once edits were approved, they went live almost immediately.

    Last summer when they rolled out the G+ Page for Local, that too got the new pipeline and had nearly instant updates.

    Now the Dashboard, with the new interface, received the update to the pipeline architecture. Any data that doesn’t need human curation goes live almost instantly. Some changes that are more profound require human curation and will take several days. Also the photo pipeline, because it is in a different database and does not have as much juice, is also slower.

  • http://jacksonlo.com Jackson Lo

    Thanks for the (non) brief explanation Mike. Good to know what’s happening behind the scenes and you’re definitely the man to go to for that :)