Maps Guide Jen Suggested How to Demerge Listings; I’ve Just Been a Lazy Ass

Ok, I’ve actually been to SMX Advanced, where I spoke, celebrated my 21st birthday, during which I devoured delicious homemade cake (thanks mom!), been helping Ice.com Jewelry fix their SEO issues, which meant auditing and now planning implementation, and handling other stuff too besides!

After regaling you all with the wonderfully exciting tale of what I’ve been up to for the past week and change, I feel I should also clarify that Google maps guide Jen has suggested a solution to de-merge merged listings, but I’ve just not had time to blog it yet. This is in response to Mike Blumenthal’s post asking Google to come clean and deal with the problem of combined listings.

So that’s the in fairness to Google part. In criticism of Google, this issue has been publicized and known and blogged about at least for a few months, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mike Blumenthal on his local seo blog. I personally made a thread at the Google Group on Maps even prior to that, which tells you just how useful those groups are… But I digress.

In short, after complaining about merged listings for my client, this lovely little boutique hotel in Montreal, and their associated auberge de jeunesse (that’s youth hostel, to you anglophones) and theorizing about the cause, maps guide Jennifer Chin came by, commented – and also emailed me with a potential solution.

In short, she advised me to:

  • Rename one of the sites/businesses
  • Change one of their addresses

So we did that on the site. The youth hostel is now at 901A Sherbrooke east. And it’s no longer the Auberge de Paris but the Auberge Montreal (the hotel is, still, the Hotel de Paris).

The problem is that the solution is tentative, and I don’t see the youth hostel in Universal Map SERPs (it is top 10 generally … I mean duh, I’m their seo ;) ).

If I controlled the youth hostel listing though, at least I could tell you guys if it worked or not. But as the hostel’s marketing director controls it, I have no way of telling how well/poorly he implemented the solution, if at all.

He says he did, so it may just be a question of time until the hostel’s back up and ranking. As things currently stand though, well, I just can’t tell whether he didn’t do things right with the Local Business Center listings, or whether Google still just doesn’t get it despite our best efforts. Consider these two listings, pulled from :

maps.google.ca serp

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0 Nice Hostel in Downtown renovated its…?8 May 2008
seems like a new Hostel(kitchen common area) , Good location it s next to a lot of bars and restaurants, very clean and The staff are Friendly and Helpful. I had a lot of fun with other ?
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Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 Great hotel downtown?A TripAdvisor Member? – 21 Apr 2008
We loved our stay at Hotel de Paris. The staff is friendly and helpful, rooms are nice and clean, and the location is a few steps away from St-Denis street. Excellent! ?
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(Emphasis on the hotel and hostel added.)
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Comments

  1. Hi Gab- Given that your businesses were at the same address with a very similar name, the solution that Google has provided will work. It appears in the Google Group and in my experience that there are other causes of the problems...ie similar domain names, source directory confusion etc. Not all of these merged records can be solved this way. Mike

    Comment by Mike Blumenthal - June 12, 2008 @ 7:41am
  2. Well, I'm hoping it will - we've yet to see an improvement. Thanks for your input on sources of merged listings. Interesting to hear that there may be multiple causes. Goes back to my initial post on the topic then, huh? Might be a sort of Googlebomb where the messy anchors on the links to the hotel have it tied up to the hostel.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - June 13, 2008 @ 12:05am

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