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Google Places Pending Status Surprise

Google Places, Local SEO | 6 Mar 2011

Over the past few days I’ve received some inquiries about the “pending” message that has been showing up on many people’s Google Places accounts. The message goes something like this: “Pending – Being Reviewed. This listing needs to be reviewed further before appearing on Google. Please allow several weeks”. Several weeks!? That seems like a long time, and something doesn’t sit right with me when they use an indiscriminate word like “several.” Needless to say, the influx of this recent bait and switch by Google has made more than a few of us a little uncomfortable.

If you search the forums you’ll see that this problem isn’t limited to a few random users either; it’s a global problem, and only recently did Google actually admit that there is a glitch in their system. Maybe it’s just me, but you would think that a company like Google would have the foresight to iron out the creases before they went live with a game changer like Google Places. And as mail-delivered pin numbers don’t work and listings that were live yesterday suddenly slip into “being reviewed” today, the internet is collectively scratching their heads with confusion. I thought Google was supposed to be the king of the internet? How could this be happening?

Google is silent on that. And their silence implies that they’re just as confused as the rest of us. After all, it was only a few months ago that they changed their algorithm to include local listings, so you have to admit that this makes sense. Major changes have a way of coming back to haunt you, and though Google is one of the best in the business not even they are immune to the occasional trip-up.

For those of you who went from “live” to “pending” with your listings, or who have pin numbers that don’t work, my suggestion would be to hang in there a little longer. With “Places” being such an important part of SEO right now, the best thing we can do is be patient and be first in line for when the gates re-open. Sure, Google has a way of leaving us in the dark with their “holly than thou” approach to customer service, but they didn’t get to where they are by being stupid. If I had to guess, I’d say that those of us who ride this out will be rewarded for it in the end.

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