Earlier this evening, the New York Times published an article about the plight of Coffee Rules Lounge, a small coffee shop in Hays Kansas that was erroneously listed as "Permanently Closed" on Google Places. The business tried in vain to get it corrected and suffered lower sales while the information was wrong. "I have no doubt that a lot of people running up and down that highway just skipped us," said the owner of the business. This is a perfect example of the listings problem in full effect, so let's take a minute to run through how publishers, internet users and businesses are impacted.
We'll start with publishers. The publisher in this case is Google. They've got the wrong information, make it very difficult to get corrected, so their users got wrong info. The business was very upset at their response to the matter. And there was an article written about the situation in the New York Times, which reflected poorly on them. All in all, a suboptimal scenario for Google.
Next, users trusting Google to find accurate information on local businesses didn't get it. People who wanted a quick coffee along that stretch of the highway were probably disappointed to see a viable options marked as closed. They had to trek further to get that cup of Joe that keeps them running on the highway through the day or night.
Lastly, the business was hurt as wrong information about it was on Google. They got less business and were frustrated by the whole process. Business listings are the building blocks to all local advertising and being unable to control these basic raw materials can cause major heartarche and losses for a business.
We invented PowerListings to solve this exact problem. While we can't solve it on Google, we can directly impact business listings nearly everywhere else, very quickly, and in many cases instantly. If Coffee Rules Lounge had used PowerListings, people looking on sites like Yelp, Yahoo, MapQuest and SuperPages would have been guaranteed to find the right information. Both Coffee Rules Lounge and internet users win!
I just ran a business listings diagnostic on Coffee Rules Lounge. Looks like they have a few more business listings problems on our partner sites. Yext can help. I've reached out to the owner of the business and we're going to give him a complimentary Yext PowerListings subscription for a year to help them out since they were hurt by the erroneous Google listing. I'll let you know how it goes.