Is Google Figuring Out When Many Businesses Share One Address?

Filed in Featured, Google, Local Search by Matt McGee on May 30, 2011 7 Comments

I noticed this a few weeks ago and emailed a couple of the local search chumps about it, then completely failed to blog about it. (Until now. Obviously.) Google has added a little messaging on Place Pages in situations when more than one business shares an an address. It says, as you can see below, “also at this address.”


That’s from my wife’s Place Page. She’s a real estate agent and shares an address with dozens of other agents. In the “Related Places” section of her Place Page, the main agency listing shows the “also at this address” messaging.

Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but perhaps a sign that Google is improving its recognition of situations when one address has many business owners — you know, the old “merged listings” problem that’s plagued them in the past.

Meanwhile, Mike Blumenthal wrote about some other interesting changes happening to the Google Maps interface these days.

Comments (7)

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  1. David says:

    Matt the issue here is with serviced offices what happens when you become of alternative listing or there are so many you get lost in the mix.

    I do think it’s a valid solution but not suitable for the growing number of mixed use office spaces or densely populated cities.

  2. Matt McGee says:

    I’m not sure it’s even reached the level of “solution” yet David because, as you point out, others can still get lost. In fact, the Brian Matthews listing to the right — that’s also at the same address, and you’ll notice that it doesn’t say “also at this address” under his listing.

    So clearly this is an early attempt at sorting out the situation. Seems a ways off from being any kind of solution, though.

  3. David says:

    Matt, it’s also a great way to ride on someone’s coattails…. but I do like it for understanding more about a location or the related types of businesses that share their premises.

    But Google could also sort out the solution by allocating more staff resources to the places team to deal with issues/bugs/spam/faults.

  4. Stever says:

    Matt, I’ve seen something similar within Google Maps itself for a long long time. But trying to replicate it today I don’t see it.

    If you searched an address in Maps, say an office tower, it would list businesses in the sidebar at that address. “Businesses at this address” or something like that was the heading. They’d all share a common street address, but all had unique suite numbers.

    Odd I don’t see it now, but probably not different algorithmically than what you saw in your wife’s Places listing. Just a slightly different display of the same data.

    It was at least well over a year ago I remember seeing that. I’d even use it for that purpose while hunting down businesses using virtual office locations and UPS addresses when doing competitive analysis for certain clients.

  5. David says:

    I noticed that two years (ish) ago (really) when I moved back to England from the US

    I had to rent a Mailboxes Etc address and used that as my office for awhile.

    I remember somewhere seeing “…other businesses at this address” on my then Local listing but didn’t think much of it.


  6. Keith says:

    I think it’s great that they’re finally starting to address this issue (no pun intended) but it almost feels like too little, too late. I can’t imagine how they would go about unmerging listings, and separating reviews and pictures. I would like to think they’ll work on that, but have a feeling this will be more of a ‘today forward’ sort of move.

    *fingers crossed*

  7. john says:

    I think Google now recognizes if many people use same address but what happens when the same company has different offices on different location in the country? Think – it needs lot more to do to recognize those aspects.

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