Favorite and Flagged! An Odd Google Favorite Places Story.


Here’s one for the books. Grah Safe & Lock, a San Diego Locksmith client whom it was our pleasure to work with this year, has been awarded a Favorite Places poster from Google. Owner, Glenn Younger, has cause to be proud of this achievement…only there’s a small problem. A couple of days before Glenn’s poster and congratulatory letter arrived in the mail, he discovered that his Google Maps listing had vanished and that his LBC account held the dread message: Flagged, Waiting For Content Check. The irony of a flagged Favorite Place will no doubt strike you without further explanation on my part.

As you may recall, Google has been taking some action in the ultra-spammed Locksmith category of late. On November 19th, I blogged about the exceptional news that, for the first time in ages, the 7 pack in San Diego actually contained mostly legitimate locksmiths. Google had taken some direct action against the mountain of spam that has made this category next to useless for users and honest business owners. We celebrated this great change.

Now, we’re back to scratching our heads. I’ve advised Glenn Younger to get in touch with that wizard of locksmith mapsspam: Mike Blumenthal to see if the two of them can get to the bottom of this problem. Mike has reported the fact that, for the past 6 months or so, the category ‘Locksmith’ has apparently had some type of flag/alert associated with it at the Googleplex, and perhaps this is the problem. I must say, though, I’d like to know how locksmiths are supposed to categorize themselves if not with this obvious word. Ah, what a muddle, and I’m hoping Mike can muddle his way through it. If anyone can figure out what’s going on with this, it’s Mike.

I’m crossing my fingers that Google will step in and remedy this situation. Imagine the disappointment of any customer who might see Glenn Younger’s poster, get out their cell phone and scan the bar code, only to be taken to…nothing. Not good for Google’s promotion, or for Grah.

6 Responses to “Favorite and Flagged! An Odd Google Favorite Places Story.”

  1. on 15 Dec 2009 at 1:22 pm David Mihm

    Another example of Google putting the cart before the horse? While I credit them for trying to clean up the locksmith industry it sounds like they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater…

  2. on 15 Dec 2009 at 1:31 pm admin

    There’s a lack of ‘horse’ sense to it for sure, David! I’d really like Google to lend a hand here.
    Nice to see you here, David! I know how busy you’ve been with the Kelsey conference.
    Miriam

  3. on 15 Dec 2009 at 1:51 pm Earlpearl

    So Maps.Google.com has rewarded and acknowledged your locksmith client…and it has punished the locksmith/client. Sounds like the left hand and right hand don’t know what they are doing.

    Hopefully this gets cleaned up ASAP. In the meantime, congrats on helping them get a lot of attention and visits in Maps. Of course, now that Google has pulled the Map/ the record…maybe they’ll send a guy with a big threatening dog and try and get the Favorite Places Poster back.

    What a dilemma!!!

  4. on 15 Dec 2009 at 2:12 pm admin

    Ha ha, Earlpearl. I will warn Glenn Younger about the dog.

    I agree with you about the right hand/left hand scenario. It seems very absurd.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. BTW, I really enjoyed your guest post at Mike’s blog.
    Miriam

  5. on 16 Dec 2009 at 12:51 pm Joel H

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience. We’ve looked into this and we will restore this listing. This is a result of more scrutiny given to some businesses with a high incidence of spam.

  6. on 16 Dec 2009 at 1:27 pm admin

    Welcome Joel,
    That’s great to hear. Incidentally, we truly support Google taking the strongest possible spam fighting measures in the locksmith industry (and elsewhere) and were so excited when the 7 pack started showing legitimate businesses again. If Google can combine this with keeping the real businesses afloat in Maps, it will be truly super.

    Thank you for stopping by to let us know Google will take care of this. I know Glenn Younger will be very glad to hear this news.

    Miriam

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