Google Maps Adds Phone Verification, Upgrades LBC

Filed in Google, Local Search by Matt McGee on June 22, 2007 1 Comment

All the talk this week has been about Google Maps accepting user reviews, but no less newsworthy is an announcement today in the Google Maps Help Group about new enhancements that will make it easier for small/local businesses to use Google Maps:

  1. Business listings can now be verified by phone and/or SMS.
  2. The Local Business Center has been upgraded with a new, easier interface.

#1 is extremely important because the previous system, where business owners had to use a physical address to receive a verification code via snail mail had one huge flaw: If the business had moved, and the address didn’t match what Google had from its data partners, the business had no way to receive the verification code. It also took several weeks to receive the verification code, so the new phone verification should be a much faster process.

#2 isn’t as important in terms of your business success, but the new interface is pretty nice. It’s been a while since I’ve logged in to see my wife’s real estate listing, but here’s what I think is new: a tabbed menu bar on the left allowing you to jump easily from one set of information to any other, and an instant preview of your changes in the information column on the right. Here’s a screenshot:

Google Maps new interface

These certainly aren’t earth-shaking updates on their own, but together they create a better experience for small/local businesses using Google Maps to acquire search traffic.

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