My Illustrated Plea To The Google Places Help Forum Team

Dear Google,

You are the king of search.

Google is king of search

When I ask you for stuff, you give it to me.

Whether I am searching for Abraham Lincoln’s height, a Chinese restaurant or tomorrow’s weather, you give it to me.

I type things into your inviting, rectangular search box with its understated yet handsome grey border every single day, and you give me data.

Yes, you are the king of search.

Google is king of search

How loath I am, therefore, to have to point out an unsightly dent in your crown.

Ms. Mayer says that 20% of all Google searches are now Local in nature – a large and round number; perhaps even too modest a quote.

I have watched you take on Local Search with the gusto of a lumberjack addressing himself to a stack of flapjacks on a frosty woodland morning. In fact, thanks to you, I earn part of my living from your Local dominance.

Yes, you are the king of Local, too, but…

The Search Box In The Google Places Help Forum Is Broken, Broken, Broken!

How well I recall the days when an issue would arise in fora or amongst my local search clients and I would rush right to you, to your grey-bordered search box in the Places Help Forum, to discover if a problem was wide-spread, previously well-documented or something new under the sun.

But now…


It’s been at least 2 months since I’ve been able to get that precious box to show me even 1 single result.

It’s like this – I perform a search for the term which Google Places Top Contributor Mike Blumenthal cites as the #1 topic in your forum: reviews. But I get no love from you. I get this:

Google is king of search

Can we talk? What’s happened to our relationship – me as the searcher, you as the kingly provider? I’m afraid I’m not getting the truth from you. I feel insecure. Pass me a hankie, please. I mean, look at this:

Google is king of search

My search – reviews – did not match any answers in Places Help? Maybe there’s some kind of inside joke or irony here that I’m not picking up on, but I see hundreds, thousands of threads on this very subject.

So why are you holding out on me? Is it something I’ve done?

Please, fix the Google Places Help Forum Search Box. Please, be the king again.

Because as things are….I can’t tell the SMB over at to go search the forum for ‘Reviews’ when his 47 hard earned odes of praise have disappeared, I can’t tell the member in’s Q&A forum that I’ve found documentation of changes to suite numbers in Places, I can’t tell the agonized lumberjack on the telephone that his favorite pancake house has gone missing out of Places due to a new ban being placed on the term ‘maple syrup’ and that it’s a known issue in the forum and that you’re working on it…because no matter what I search for, you’re giving me nothing, just nothing.

So, I beseech and implore you, Google Places Help Forum Team, put the unmatched power of search for which Google is justly crowned king back in action behind that box. It’s been weeks and weeks since it has worked for me, and it’s casting a cloud over my life. All the sweat and tears that have gone into business owners posting issues and you answering them has created the #1 documentation resource for all local search issues relating to Google’s properties. I want my resource back! Please, do something.

Thank you!

6 Responses to “My Illustrated Plea To The Google Places Help Forum Team”

  1. on 01 Mar 2012 at 9:58 am Vanessa Schneider

    We’re actually moving to a new forum platform soon, to address some of these issues (I know not everything’s working perfectly right now in the Places forum).

    You can see the new and improved forums in action over on the Google Maps forum:!forum/maps

    – Vanessa, Google Places community manager

  2. on 01 Mar 2012 at 1:20 pm Mike Blumenthal

    Google announced today that the current forum would be closing down soon. So they are not going to be fixing anything. Let’s just hope that they leave the existing data up!

    We’re moving! In the early part of this month, the Places forum is moving to Google’s new forum platform, Google Product Forums. To see the new forums in action, check out the Google Maps forum:

  3. on 01 Mar 2012 at 2:45 pm admin

    Thanks, Mike & Vanessa, for the timely news. I appreciate you both replying. I have updated my personal bookmark to the new forum and will look forward to test driving the search box in the new forum.

    Of interest to me is seeing Google bring the forum back under the ‘MAPS’ brand after several years of things being ‘Places’. That will take some getting used to.

    Congrats on the new forum! I hope to become familiar with it quickly.

  4. on 02 Mar 2012 at 12:10 pm Mike Blumenthal

    They are not bringing it back as the Maps brand. It will be all about Places. Vanessa was just showing you what the new forums would look like. They will be the same software as the Maps forum.

  5. on 02 Mar 2012 at 2:42 pm admin

    Hey Mike,
    I didn’t explain that very well. Thanks for coming back to this. What I mean is, the entry page (linked to above) is under the Maps brand. But yes, I see that the link itself within the Maps page still says Places. That was what I had noticed.

    Still haven’t found a minute to test the search box.

  6. on 04 Mar 2012 at 5:54 am Mike Blumenthal

    Places will have its own branded forum. In it will be a subsidiary link back to the Maps forum. It won’t be just a sub forum. Maps has gone to the new platform and Vanessa was just pointing out that Maps will has the look and feel of the future Places forum.

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