A couple months ago I was so fortunate to be noticed by Matthew Hunt over at @smbusinesscoach and included in a MasterMind group of Local SEOs (thanks Matt) that chat daily about everything going on in Google Places.
One of my favorite individuals in this group is Nyagoslav at @optilocal. Young like me, but WAY ahead of the curve in his understanding of Google Places. He’s great because he doesn’t just know the fluffy white side of Google Places. Like me, he is also very tuned in to what is happening on the darker side, giving me the rare opportunity of having someone to bounce such things off of him, without risk of judgement. But I digress…
With Google finally stepping up with Google Places support, I thought FINALLY I can get rid of some of these duplicates. While we and Nyagoslav both took shots at how to kill duplicate listings in our respective blog posts, I found there were many I still couldn’t kill for various reasons. In any event, in walks Google Places support – I go through the steps, and find while they provide a lot of great information and how to’s, BUT my duplicates need Google’s firmer hand. Instead however, I find and have found with a variety of issues, Google sends me down these maze like passages, coming out empty handed more times than not.
FORTUNATELY, Nyagoslav provided the MasterMind group with My Favorite Link ever. I knew somewhere down one of Google Places support’s dark passages, there was a field where one could submit their duplicate to Google – much like the “Report a Problem” button on the place page, except they actually do something. Sorry Google, helping me 3+ months down the road doesn’t help. By then my client has walked. Sweet. So here it is, my favorite link of all time: http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1386120&page=ts.cs
You will find that Google gives you a few options – the first and the third being those options that result in a solution. Thus far I have found that they turn around a PERSONAL response in about 24-48 hours, and take action by the end of this time if all details are made clear to them. One thing to note, while the dupe itself doesn’t leave the SERPs right away, it seems the consequence of said dupe is zapped and I’ve found quite quickly, one’s deserving rank is restored.
So far I have zapped about 10 dupes, with another 5-10 on the way.
Update: just noticed this link was posted in Darren Shaw’s recent post on Mike Blumenthal’s blog & Nyagoslav also posted it on SEP. Oh well