How is it that Google is wrong?
Do you know when Google is wrong and when the information is correct? Sometimes the answer is staring right back at you. If you just trust their data, map directions, statistics, etc. you could be in trouble. Take for instance a recent customer that asked me to fill in for their web guy. I noticed many things that needed to be taken care of so I went to work right away adding XML Site Maps, Analytics, SEO information, etc. Certain pages needed to have emphasis for specific keywords so there was quite a bit of extra writing. It was nice to see things come together. The analytics slowly showed that my efforts were resulting in targeted emphasis on each specific page that was optimized. Success!
I casually looked at their contact page and thought that it probably did not need any changes. I was very wrong. Google is wrong.I pretended I was a random customer and clicked on their map (they had it linked directly with Google Maps with a plug-in. It appears that Google Places (formerly google maps) did not have them accurately placed on the map. After clicking on “street view” which is a common thing to do so you can get your bearings, it puts this company right in the middle of the parking lot a block north up the street. It gives the customer the wrong location. I am so glad I took the time to notice that google was wrong in their map icon and street view placements.
Google is Wrong Sometimes, you see – it just happens.
What to do? Well, you want to make sure that customers know how to get to your business. I added a basic map with a pin that clearly indicated the location. I took off the plug-in that served no purpose now. I also made sure the full address was printed in this area so that people with GPS can punch in the zip code, etc. and get detailed information as they drive.
Google Places does allow you to fix a wrong location now. It takes up to three weeks sometimes, so it is better to load a static map for the time being to ensure that customers are not misguided. Ever have a customer walk into your business and be irritated because they could not find you? The Dex people had my business a block north on the wrong intersection for years and I could not get that fixed – their company was so large and they basically did not care. So, when google is wrong, you need to make things right in your blogsite. Not only fix the problem, but tell your customers the following:
“We are sorry if you are looking at Google for turn by turn directions. It appears that Google is wrong in their map placement for our business. Please do not follow their directions – give us a call and we will give you detailed directions. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Now that is a great customer service message. Customers appreciate knowing that Google is wrong.
Of course if you are Captain Kirk and you relied solely on Google to guide you in – you could end up being in the wrong galaxy. Always check your links, your maps, your phone numbers, your email addresses – etc. Don’t just assume that all is correct. When Google is wrong with their maps and directions and your customer drives to the wrong location – they will not be happy – and there should never be unhappy customers! Check your location and leave a comment as to what you found. Correct or not? It would be interesting to see if Google is wrong just a few times, or many times. Leave a comment below!