New Search Refinements in Google Maps

Maybe I’ve just missed this, but today I ran into something I’ve not seen before in Google Maps while doing a search for architects berkeley ca. Look at the options I was given to refine my search by neighborhood or user rating.

User Ratings in Google Maps

When I clicked on user ratings, I was shown this:

User Ratings in Google Maps

As you can see from the above, we’re being given the option to sort LBC listings by three stars, two stars, and ‘has a rating’. Unfortunately, the data returned to me when I try choosing from the among these three refinement options was useless and rather silly. Take a look:

User Ratings in Google Maps

To you and me, calling the Butterfly Restaurant for architecture services may not make sense, but as you can see from the image above, bizarre categorization of restaurants, hardware stores, and landscaping under the category Architects is leading Google to believe that these are appropriate results for my refined search. Sheesh!

I then tried out the refine by neighborhood option and was shown this menu of choices:

Refine by Neighborhood in Google Maps

Unfortunately, this refinement option is working about as well as the other one, and by searching within the various neighborhoods, I was being returned SERPs for theaters, hotels, and other irrelevant businesses. Here’s an example:

Refine by Neighborhood in Google Maps

The one thing I saw in common with this set of data was that reviews of these irrelevant businesses contain the word architecture, as you can see in the above screen shot.

I’m led to believe that because my initial search for architects berkeley ca was bringing up zero businesses in the A-J rank with stars, and only one business with one review, Google has defaulted to other local businesses like restaurants and hardware stores that do have sufficient data.

Come on, architects, go get some citations!

Has anyone else run into this?

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Update:
I’m a goofball. Local wizard Mike Blumenthal says he’s been seeing this since February. I don’t know how I haven’t run into it. Perhaps it’s just appearing on some searches and not others. Thanks for letting me know, Mike, and thanks for saying I shouldn’t feel silly.

2 Responses to “New Search Refinements in Google Maps”

  1. on 23 Sep 2008 at 4:22 am martijn

    hi miriam!
    I’ve seen the user rating refinement before but the refine by neighbourhood is totally new to me!
    And yes indeed, I think you are right, Lack of Data (citations, business listings) is a reason why the service isn’t as accurate as it should be.

  2. on 23 Sep 2008 at 2:07 pm admin

    Hi Martijn!
    Thanks for letting me know that. I’ve adjusted the above post to include a P.S. Mike says this has been around since February, but I’ve just never run into it. Maybe more common in big cities than rural areas?

    I thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

    Miriam

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