This is post #4 in an ongoing series where I attempt to surface the most important threads from the Google Places forum to ensure you don’t miss any important hot tips, bugs or fixes. Also see Issue #2 and Issue #3.

I skipped last week’s issue partly because I didn’t find many good tips or updates, mainly negativity and complaining. Still the case this week to some degree, but there are some important tidbits in here nonetheless. Just scan the BOLD CAP TITLES to find the topics that interest you or affect your listings.

Oops… I mean Hide your ADDRESS or Lose your Google Place page!

I’ve been fielding more and more requests for help from people who get a hard to understand call from Google, then their Place page disappears. Most of these are due to the new guideline about hiding your address if you don’t do business at your location. But a variety of other problems too. Here are just 2 of the threads I have going. LOTS of complaints in each one as well as advice from me about what to do. has anyone’s google places listing COMPLETELY disappeared? And has anyone seen strange numbers on their caller ID from google maps? And this one: My business was deleted from Google Places without any cause or prior notification

MOVING LOCATION – CHANGING ADDRESS Location Moved option – Vanessa’s advice lately for moves is to mark your old Place page as “PERMANENTLY CLOSED” and create a new Place page at the new address. One of my concerns about that is it can hurt business and make it look like you are OUT of business. PLUS old location can merge and make new location look closed. April 18 Vanessa said “Yep, we’re working on better messaging for these kinds of cases. Stay tuned!”. Barry Schwartz got involved in the convo. I replied “I gave my advice and opinion over at Barry’s blog because I don’t think Google would like me to post my opinion here. I think marking old locations closed is a band aid. A VERY BAD band aid for a variety of reasons, including potential merge problems.” See my reply and advice to Barry at his blog. Moving? Google Wants You To Close Your Business!

My places listing is above the main group of listings? This has to be a 1st in the forum! A user COMPLAINING ABOUT BEING IN THE A SPOT! She wants to be lower on the page. I get what she’s saying, but it still struck me funny! πŸ™‚

MISSING VIDEO BUG – Many videos are still missing on Place pages. ALL my clients are still missing videos, but I’ve seen a few reported on the forum come back. But oddly there are not many complaints in the forum. I guess because the images move over to fill in the blank spot where the videos were, so few users noticed. Latest update from Vanessa May 20th “The engineers are still investigating.” (I reported the bug May 9th.)

MOVING – MORE – Hmmm 2nd time this week I’ve seen problems with listings. Turns out they changed address long ago and get a letter from support saying they have to set up a new Place page. Sort of goes along with what Vanessa says above. Disturbing to me! Their Place page address keeps changing to their old address. Then their Place page gets deleted and they are told they need to set up a NEW ONE. Sudden change of correct address NEW CID will mean they likely lose all the new reviews they have on this long standing Place page that has had the new correct address for a LONG time. Also see similar reply from Google support to Rick Ellison – 5/22.

CHANGING CIDs Hi Vanessa – Information On Changing CID Links? I tried to get Vanessa to explain some of issues that cause CIDs to change as it can cause all kinds of problems such as lost reviews and broken embedded maps. This is all she can say about it: “A business listing pulls together information from many different sources around the web (like a search result). When we associate all that different data together, to make up a business listing, Google assigns it a CID number, which you can see when you click the ‘link’ icon at the top right of the listing. As our system re-evaluates how to group those data sources over time, we may assign a new CID number to a group of sources.”

She’s Ba-ack! For the hundredth time! Vanessa finally puts her out of her misery.

SMB COMPLAINTS, THREATS & SUGGESTIONS Class action lawsuit against Google for sabataging our businesses!!!

SMB COMPLAINTS & SUGGESTIONS GOOGLE TECHS PLEASE READ: A solution for your lack of Google Places support (and other thoughts)…