A little new, a little well-known. The newer information is courtesy of Mike Blumenthal letting folks know that Google Places has been tightening up their verification process for new businesses.
I really like this, even though it can (and has) take more time to get listed. About a month ago, a company with a new location caused Google to allow only the postcard option. It looked something like this. Notice there’s no phone option?
In early 2007 and before, the postcard option was it and often took a lot more than 2-3 weeks to receive. This time, it took about 1-1/2 weeks. However, it took another 2 weeks for the listing to show after I confirmed the listing. This is from a business that’s been trusted in Google
Maps Places for years. Another new location just this week also gave the postcard only option.
I still welcome this. If Google is indeed tightening up like this, it would sure be harder for those who want to artificially manipulate local results.
With this said, there are a few tips to make sure the postcard option is working. These aren’t new tips, maybe more of a refresher and communications is key.
- Call and then send an email to your contact(s) including whoever is responsible for receiving mail. In the email, explain exactly what you’re doing.
- Include an image like the one above
- Explain how important it is to not throw away the postcard and to call or email you back with the 5 digit confirmation code provided
- For good measure, copy and paste the image below to show what the actual direct mail piece will look like (not the best quality image, sorry)
Having the phone option with almost immediate results is sure nice and definitely preferred. Having the postcard only doesn’t have to be bad. Maybe it can at least be another communications opportunity.
Have you seen Google’s new process for new business locations? Let us know of your experiences…. Good or bad.