Google Places seems to have lost a certain resort in Hawaii. But it’s only missing if you live in certain places. Like mine. And David Mihm’s. And Mike Blumenthal’s. And maybe yours, too! If you search for this hotel by name in Google Places, you might end up with a real estate agent ranking first, or maybe the local zoo or a vacation rental portal. If you want to play along, here’s how:
1) Go to http://www.google.com.
2) Search this exact phrase:
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort
You’re still in the main Google.com results, so…
3) On the left side, click “More” then click for “Places” results.
What do you see?
If you’re me, searching with your location set to Kennewick WA, you get a Kennewick real estate agent as the top and only Places listing. (Actually, I’m not sure that’s really a local agent. Never heard of him myself.)
Isn’t that the strangest thing???
Actually, it might not be. If you’re David Mihm, or if you just use Google’s “change location” option on the left and set it to Portland OR, your first and only Places result is the Oregon Zoo.
If you’re Mike Blumenthal — or if you just change the location setting to Buffalo, NY — your first and only Places result is some kind of vacation rentals portal (which is in the same ballpark as the missing Hilton, at least).
Even Stranger: It All Depends On Where You Live
The strangest thing is that this bug isn’t close to being consistent. Whether you get a strange Places result (or none at all) depends on where you’re searching from, or what location you set. In my testing over the past couple days, these cities didn’t produce a screwy Places result:
- Topeka, KS
- Harrisburg, PA
- Columbus, OH
- Reno, NV
- Jacksonville, FL
Those cities don’t actually show any Places results for the hotel. Plenty of other cities are showing bizarre results like the screenshots above.
But All Is NOT Lost
This Hilton hotel might be lost in the Google Places search results, but it’s doing just fine, thank you very much inside Google Maps. Run the same search from maps.google.com and you get what you’re looking for.
In any case, this is one of the more bizarre bugs I’ve seen in Google search results. When a local real estate agent, a zoo, or anything else shows up as the only Google Places search result for the hotel’s name, something’s gotta be messed up underneath the hood.