In an effort to streamline the process for small businesses, Google has made a decision that might rub some business owners the wrong way. Rather than waiting for businesses to update listings on Google Places, the company announced that it will now automatically update for you.
Google Places enables you to update and manage your physical business location information so that it appears correctly within Google Maps and other Google properties.
“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,” explains Lior Ron, Google Places product manager, in yesterday’s blog post.
In the past, business listings would reflect the data provided by its owner even if Google received information about an updated address or hours of operation. Moving forward, if a user provides new information about a business – or if Google finds more recent information from another source online – the listing will automatically be updated.
You will receive an email notification about the change so you’ll have a chance to review the update. If you don’t agree with the changes, or if you have additional information, you will still be able to log in to your Places account and make the necessary edits.
It’s too early to tell how businesses are reacting to this update. On one hand, it’s helpful for a business owner that doesn’t always remember to make minor changes, such as hours of operation. On the other hand, a businesses owner might feel like this move is taking control out of his or her hands.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.