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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.