When the perfect Storm of Bad Data results into a very messed up SERP!
As a member of some of the Google Help Forums in which I utilize some of my years of experience to give back help to novice users, I came across a rather odd example. One user expressed that a search for “Temple University” brought back results in the Google Knowledge Graph details for another business. In this case, as seen from the screen shot below, the address of the Philadelphia based University not only showed the address and phone number for the “Philly Pretzel Factory” but also returned map results as well as listing the G+ profile of the Pretzel Factory Restaurant as the official G+ profile. To add insult to injury, G+ reviews lead directly to the Philly Pretzel Factory, in which at this writing were over 89 Google reviews, most of which are all related to Temple University and not the potentially fabulous Soft Pretzels one could purchase and consume.
Looking at the Official website for Temple University http://www.temple.edu/ we see that on their website they list their address and phone number as 1801 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 USA, (215) 204-7000 and are utilizing the proper schema data coding to ensure proper map citations as well the the Knowledge Graph interface.
The number two result in the Google search for “Temple University” brought back the Google + Local Maps / Google My Business Page for The Philly Pretzel Factory.
From the SEO factor we can only assume that the combination of Links from the Google Knowledge Graph “Write a Review” and the misinformed number of Reviews attributed by mistake to the Pretzel Factory provided enough SEO algorithmic power or juice to propel the pretzel into the number 2 result beating out Wiki.com, owlsports.com and the Facebook Fan page with over 46K followers or Likes.
Under all conventional wisdom this should not happen. The knowledge graph would pull information that is correctly associated from freebase, wiki, the website itself and other citations to determine the correct data for Temple University.
Google recently announced the additional of Knowledge based social profiles with Developer Guide instruction here, however Temple, the Facbook is Correct, the Youtube is Correct, the Linked In is Correct, but low and behold the G+ profile goes directly to our favorite Pretzel Factory Google Local Business Page. Once again, adding insult to injury, the correct G+ account for Temple University is displayed directly below the new profile insertions with the “Recent Posts of Google+”
What has lead to this?
Well, first of all Temple University has not claimed their Official Google My Business Profile. Google My Business was introduced the summer of 2014 and has has caused a multitude of problems because the older listings such as the G+ fan page, G+ profile and Google Maps, which once synced correctly or independently, now became rolled up into one hot mess known as Google My Business. Many companies have not claimed their listings, or their old listing have been hijacked by the Google system under old, outdated logins, email accounts or other sources in which a business owner has to jump through hoops in order to claim, verify and even justify they are a legitimate business.
Why did this Happen?
That’s a great question, and I am not sure we will ever get an answer, and for that matter how long with it take Google to fix the mistake? Temple did everything correctly. They added scheme data, they have trusted sources and links and they have a verified G+ page (yet not a Google Local Maps Page) which is part and parcel of the confusion.
When will it be fixed?
We have notified Google via the “Send Feedback function.” I have reached out to some of my Google employee contacts in an attempt to get an email out to the correct department heads, but with this being a combination of Search, Knowledge Graph, Google Maps, Google My Business all coming into to play into this perfect storm of bad results compounding each other, who will take ownership, let alone fix the Bug or scenario that created this SNAFU in the first place?
Your Take Away.
- Make sure your Google My Business Local Maps is claimed and verified under your official company Google profile. Try to have one central gmail account that is associated with all your Google properties, Maps, Business Listing, Adwords, Webmaster Tools, Merchant Center, Youtube and lastly G+. This central login gmail is vital to syncing your properties and giving access across your Google services.
- Make sure sure you have Schema Data markups as well as the new Social Media Markups on your site.
- Make sure you have consistent (NAP) Name Address Phone number listing across all the local directories, social media profiles etc.
- Be Proactive in checking your data, or hire a professional (804-741-6776) that can make sure you avoid these types of issues. We wouldn’t want all the calls for your goods and services going towards pretzels, now would we? Well, if they have the good mustard…