Google and Yahoo! Local – We Have A Problem!

Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!

A couple of days ago, I was assisting a client with getting her business listed in Google’s Local Business Center and Yahoo’s Local service. This client is a medical services provider with admirable skills in her profession, yet not terribly comfortable with technology, so part of our contract with her was to walk her, step by step, through getting some business listings going. She and I were both keen on getting everything just right, and in total, the process took about 2 hours of phone consulting time.

On both Google and Yahoo’s local registration forms, we encountered such a silly problem, I wanted to make a note of it here. One of the options in both of these listings is to specify what types of payment the business accepts. In this case, the client accepts both cash and checks, but the radio buttons provided in the form made it impossible for her to choose these options. She could either pick:

Cash Only
Personal Checks

There was no option for just ‘cash’, and if she picked ‘cash only’, she wasn’t allowed to also pick ‘personal checks’. What is that only doing in there? I imagine that millions of businesses accept credit cards AND checks AND cash. It’s very odd that the designers of these registration forms didn’t predict that all these bases would need to be covered. Usability experts and analysts…where are you? I’d like to see this fixed. It made the process confusing and frustrating for my client who wanted to be sure she was getting her listing just right. In the end, she had to pick ‘personal checks’, having to omit that she takes cash. As this isn’t an accurate representation of her business, Google Maps and Yahoo Local are missing pieces of the picture and their users will be, too.

How’s about a new radio button for ‘cash’?

2 Responses to “Google and Yahoo! Local – We Have A Problem!”

  1. on 06 Nov 2007 at 10:16 am iamlost

    The reason ‘cash’ is a stand-alone and ‘personal cheques’ is not is because cash (in your case, US currency) MUST be accepted as “lawful tender in all payments whatsoever” in the USA.

    So: by selecting ‘Personal Cheques’ you are also – by law – also accepting cash. It does not need to be stated as ‘Cash AND Personal Cheques’.

    As accepting ‘Personal Cheques’ is a convenience factor similar to accepting a credit or debit card each has to be individually agreed.

    Clear as mud?

  2. on 06 Nov 2007 at 2:03 pm admin

    Hi Iamlost!
    I’m honored to have you here. And, oh my gosh, that is just the weirdest idea…I’m greatly impressed you know the answer to this, and rather stunned that myself and this PhD. client had no idea that this was the meaning of the options given. Clear as mud is a fine description.

    I’ll have to tell her about this. She won’t believe me. :)

    Thank you for taking the time to comment here. It’s really interesting to hear an explanation of this.

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