Re: The Google Local map results have "merged" our listing with another in the same building
Whistle Stop Gallery
May 18, 2009 3:06 PM
Posted in group:
"Businesses that are the same address / location are merged. In general, it's the right thing to do." No its not. Ever heard of a medical building? Many suites, one address.
Basically, the problem is that Google cannot programmatically identify duplicate listings, so they simply merge them to avoid having to actually come up with working systems.
This is similar to the google serch problem. Google search rates a site higher for a keyword when someone follows the link from the search. So basically, when the algorithm gets wierd an produces incorrect results, and a whole bunch of people click on the results (which they do becuase google is really popular), the algorithms decide the results were correct based on the fact that people lciked on them. It is self-fulfilling. Kind of like my argument at a home store:
(me) I want a window without the fake grilles.
(home store dude) Our information shows that most people want the grilles, so you'll have to pay more to order without
(me) Where is the information from?
(home store dude) It is based on purchases
(me) but if all you ever have in the store are windows with grilles, how would anyone buy ones without? You only carry the ones with grilles, so that is what people will buy the 'most' of, because that's all you have! Have you ever carried windows without grilles?
(home store dude) no.
Basically, the google programs are okay for a prototype. The problem is that they are still working like prototypes. Because they are the "Gods of search" no one can do anything, and because Google is big they force everyone to bow to whatever setup happens to fly out of their heads. Bottom line: it doesn't work correctly.
And if it is generally the right thing to do, I'll just merge the city I live in with the one next to it. They are close, it won't matter whose taxes i pay, what address I use... I'll also buy a car and pay the payment to the dealer next door. That's good enough, right? If someone tells me they want an HP computer, I'll get them a Compaq!
Google needs to get a grip and realize that you can't rely on a computer program to make subjective decisions. As it is, their systems sometime have difficulty with objective instructions! Anyone who claims that an auto-merge of business information could ever work doesn't know what they are doing. Computers don't think, they follow preset instructions. When the auto-merge works, it is only by luck.
And no i'm not mad about my listing, because I don't even have one yet! I just hate the fact that Google has absolutely no responsibility!
"In the meantime, there's no way to force an immediate fix to the issue." Yes there is. Do it manual or shut it down. Ruining businesses and putting people out of work because it will take a long time to fix a program or system is absolutely abhorrent. I wonder what Google's ethics policy says. Is it "We can do no wrong. Ethics are for suckers"?
It is the typical way of doing business today: sling a lot of junk out and eventually someone will make money on it.
Here's a suggestion: rewrite the auto-merge program into a program that identifies possible duplicate listings, then have (real human) evaluators review only those. Although you would have to check on your employess to see if they are actually reading the verifications.