If your business is on Google Places, then the address and related information will be updated automatically with the information that Google will gather from users and “third parties/trusted sources.” This was announced by Google on the LatLong Blog recently and it stated that the update will be done automatically if they think that the information is more accurate and up to date than the Places Dashboard.
Google says, “We’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner – even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know – or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places – the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change.”
Google has added that business owners can always log in to their Google Places account and make further edits, if the information provided in incorrect or incomplete. Also these updates will have no effect whatsoever on the online ads from business owners using AdWords or AdWords Express programs.
Why Was This Needed?
There was massive outrage globally when Google allowed users to update the information about a business listed on Google Place. This was a green signal for spammers, disgruntled customers or vengeful ex-employees to list the business as “closed”. Google was at the receiving end of quite some flak for this. However, it announced that it is working on a solution. And now has come up with the automatic update plan.
But Why Automatic Updates?
Google says that they cannot rely on business owners to continuously update their Google Places listing. That is why they use a network of other sources like partners, users and other authoritative sources to verify the details about a business, and if they deem fit, they update the details automatically. As Google says, “We recognize that amidst all the work that goes into running a successful enterprise, remembering to update their Google Places account may not always be top of mind. Oftentimes, a neighborhood local or a loyal customer is eager to help their favorite business update its online presence.”
Are The Businesses Still Safe?
This question remains unanswered as, it is quite a possibility that the "trusted external sources" can be easily manipulated. Incorrect data about the business can still be implemented, leading to inaccurate details be updated automatically. However, if this can actually happen remains to be seen.
What do you think? Do leave your comments.