• http://www.planetc1.com/ Michael Dorausch

    Bravo Matt, well stated. I hate to say it, but this is the reason all small business owners either have to be better educated as to what they can do proactively, or they have to hire someone who can watch their back. I don’t think Google, Yelp or any others has any true understanding of what small business owners are going through. It’s also critical businesses don’t forget what worked before the internet, and those best practices should continue to be employed.

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling


    Google told me that much of their AdWords customer service effort was intended to educate and help SMBs, provided they contacted Google. There’s quite a discrepancy between the picture above and what Google portrayed to me about relatively satisfied SMB advertisers.

  • http://www.visionefx.net rickvidallon

    I hear the complaints of my clients very week about the inaccurate information posted by their competitors seeking to The fix is EASY. Do not allow users to post feedback on products without some verification of their identity that is tied to a physical address (same way that Google, Yahoo and Bing validates local business listings).

    Other areas of rampant abuse include ‘Complaint Websites’.
    I suggest that the same rule or algorithm might apply to any complaint website that does not display fully vetted complaints; that such complaints get pushed back in search results.

    At this writing it is well worth mentioning that Yahoo and Bing do not rank these type of complaint websites as relevant in searches, not nearly as much as Google does. As a developer, I believe this speaks to inherent flaws in Google assigning so much value to back links.

  • http://www.visionefx.net rickvidallon

    (my recent comment above truncated after submitting. — The correction is below)

    I hear the complaints of my clients very week about the inaccurate information posted by their competitors seeking harm, malign their business or reputation. This fix is EASY …

  • Matt McGee

    Greg, the point I’m making is that Google has millions of “customers” that are not advertisers. These people are being harmed, sometimes irreparably, by Google’s laissez-faire attitude with business data (allowing anyone to edit it) and, more importantly, by Google’s complete lack of customer service inside PLACES. Not AdWords — Places. We’re talking about two different things, I’d say.

    Plus, what do you expect that Google would portray to you? That people are unsatisfied? :-)

  • http://www.championmobilesolutions.com Jim Bryant

    “As Google says in its blog post, “we can’t be on the ground in every city and town.”

    Why not ? Ever hear of McDonald’s ? Google’s problem is it wants to sit in “Mountain View” and be the politburo to the online world (with competition only from China). The problem is Google doesn’t view Places as a service to SMB’s – it looks at them as properties (theirs), and in that regard they are an absentee slumlord.

    We small business consultants step in to fill the void and provide the much need service that Google ignores, but we too are at the mercy of Google and are left in the dark on changes until we read about them on Blumenthal’s blog then the community plays reverse engineering to try and figure out what’s going on. It’s a hell of a way to run a railroad.

    I’m grateful for the opportunity, but the bottom line is if Google is serious about customer service then they would either dedicate some “boots on ground” or come up with a certification program like Adwords for consultants. Growing companies are concerned with such things – monopolies aren’t, and that is the real problem here.

  • TimmyTime

    Matt, congrats. Once again you showed your independence streak and showed how Google is in reality. I wish more tech bloggers had it, even though they are right to fear vindictive Google’s wrath. Google wants the money and power without the responsibility, because that interferes with their stratospheric margins.

    Google sees everything a dollar signs, that’s why they don’t care about collateral damage, as long as their earnings increase by algo changes. Has there ever been an algo or feature change that hurt Google’s earnings?