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