Just a short post out of frustration with Google Local Business Centre. Every business with a local catchment area(s) should have an entry in the Google Local Business Centre. Increasingly Google are mixing up the search results by identifying geographic searches and displaying results from Google Local Business Centre in the results – hence the need for a listing.

However, today I’ve just spend an agonizing 2 hours trying to update our own entry on the system. Google seem to have some serious problems with the system, and searching on the web it appears a lot of people are unable to update their entries.

Here are some pointers (as of 6/7/09):

  • Verification by telephone isn’t working – type in the code it gives you and it will just get rejected.
  • Verification by mobile is – but you have to add your mobile phone a few times before it offers that in the list of verification options.
  • Make any subsequent updates and it asks for verification again.
  • The areas of speciality fields are getting duplicated when you go around the loop. You can’t delete any areas of speciality (in Firefox you’ll see the JavaScript error causing this).
  • If you upload more than a few photos it seems to throttle your bandwidth and display ‘image not available’ – these do subsequently seem to appear, but we recommend only adding a couple of photos currently.
  • Don’t ever changed or adjust the business name or it takes you offline awaiting further verification, but then doesn’t offer you the chance to verify!

In short: get a Google Local listing, but be very careful ensuring you type in everything you want first time, get it right first time and verify with a mobile phone. Be prepared for some serious frustration.

In short Google Local is looking pretty broken – come on Google you need to do better!