Online Business Listing – Understanding How Google Lists Your Business Directory
Have you ever wondered how Google lists your business? Google has several tools to list your business profile such as Google Places and Google Plus. You can enter your business information such as company name, address, contact information, category, and so forth into their directory for other users to search. Many business owners think that by adding their listing to these tools, they will be added to Google’s directory, which would provide them with a good advertising platform. Although these are Google’s intentions, customers can find many incorrect details about your business – such as wrong contact number, an error in the address, or a misplaced marker of your business location.
You wonder how can this be when you have provided all the correct details about your business? The answer to that is because of the complexity of how Google gathers information about business listings in their directory. So just how does Google handle it’s business directory listing? The following details how Google goes about this.
Contrary to what many users think that about Google’s source of information coming from their own source of database, they also gather information from external sources. Even before you list down your business information on any of Google’s directory listing applications, chances are they already know some of your information. This is because Google not only gathers information from their own database, they also collect data from several other sources.
One of them is from business data consolidators. In the U.S. there are 3 known companies that aggregate business directory listings – Infogroup, Newstar, and Acxiom. Google either buys or leases these information from one (or all) of these consolidators and directs them into their search index.
While Google does not actually place the information in the index per se, it really goes into a large cluster of servers which organizes them separately. So the information may not only come from the business owners themselves, they can also be generated from other sources. For example, Google will count an information coming from the business owner as one source, data from Infogroup as a second source, Newstar as a third source, and the list can go on and on.
Another method that Google employs to gather business information is by crawling other sites such as Yellowpages.com and Yelp.com. Google searches for business profiles from these sites and also places them in the index. These sites usually gather information from the same consolidators as well which often leads to inconsistency or duplication of data in Google’s search index.
In addition to this, Google also taps into government agencies that publish business listings. So if your business is registered in your local government office, Google will crawl the information and place it in the index.
Another source of Google’s business directory listing that many are not aware of is from Google Street. Google officials have announced an update to Google’s patent which suggest that Google Street cars will be taking photos of store fronts as they roam around mapping a particular area. Photos of business names, addresses, phone numbers will be included into the cluster of information identifying the source of data as Google Street.
These are just some of the data sources Google employs to build up their business directory listing. It isn’t just the business owner that is the source of their business profile. If any information is misrepresented from anyone of these sources, this could lead to misinformation as Google pulls in these data. Even if a business owner provides correct information of their business.
To eliminate or minimize the spread of erroneous information, Google employs human reviewers that look into these data and try to correct them individually. Information such as category, addresses, contact number, location details and so forth are closely looked into by these human reviewers. Often they will make contact to the business owner to verify if their information is correct or not. So it is important to be aware this and pay close attention should you receive a call from them to verify your information.
So if you find any error on your business profile, remember you can’t just fix this on Google Places or Google Plus alone. If the error causes serious problems for your business, the only way to correct it is by individually mapping these sources and update your information, at least for now.