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Bad Directions: Google Maps Sends Local Listing Reports To Wrong Business Owners
Starting last night, Google began sending out the monthly (or so) Google Local Business Center updates. The updates go out via email and contain analytical information about how many times a listing was viewed, clicked on, and other miscellaneous analytics. The analytics are a summary of what they would see in their Google LBC analytics dashboard.
But instead of these emails going to their actual business owners, they went to the wrong business owners. I for one received an email for a business that is over 1,500 miles away from my location. I posted a picture of the email at the bottom of this article.
There are plenty of reports of this Google Maps blunder. David Dalka received a similar one about 30 minutes after I received mine. Mike Blumenthal also received one, so did Danya Henninger and others, as I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable.
This seems like a pretty big blunder, but the statistics are really limited and I would not equate this with the AOL data leak.
Here is a picture of the email I received:
Postscript: Google sent me a statement, it reads as follows:
As you’re aware, we send a monthly newsletter to our Local Business Center users, featuring product news and a glimpse at the Dashboard statistics which show the traffic Google properties drive to their listing. Shortly after sending the newsletter to a small portion of our users last night, we discovered that some emails included incorrect business listing information. We promptly stopped sending any further emails and investigated the cause, which we found to be a human error while pulling together the newsletter content. We’d like to sincerely apologize to all the business owners impacted and assure all our users that we’re working hard to ensure that nothing similar will happen again.
Postscript #2: Google sent an automated apology to me and others who received these emails. Here is a picture of that email: