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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Google changed "Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose" to "Children's Discovery Museum." Support told the Museum that adding "of San Jose" to their name is keyword spamming.

    I'm all for Google not allowing spammy businesses to violate the guidelines by keyword stuffing.

    But I'm not cool with Google censoring a major, well known brand and telling them they can't use their own REAL business name. As if they are GEO stuffing title like a common spammers. Their real and verified business name has 322,000 citations! It is very much the name they use consistently in the real world.

    I'm helping the Museum at the Google Business forum and escalated the problem to Jade last night.
    Here is part Rick, the marketing director's post and my response.

    Frustrated with control over our Google Plus page since the merger with Local (Snippets only, click link to read full post)

    Lately, it feels like we have no control over our page at all. We could make any changes we wanted without getting anyone's approval (and we certainly didn't abuse that privilege). Our name was recently shortened from "Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose" to "Children's Discovery Museum." The explanation I got for our Google Local customer service agent was "of San Jose" is keyword spamming. The problem is that it really is in our name. It's on Wikipedia and Charity Navigator and our audit and tax forms required by law. It's even on the actual Google map when zooming in on 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA 95682. The representative said that "Annie's Bakery" in San Jose couldn't call itself "Annie's Bakery of San Jose." But, again, that's our name. They then proceeded to remove "of San Jose" out of our description, and shortened the intro considerably. Originally we had quite a long intro to what we do , the children and families we serve, and our other programs (before the merger, 6 paragraphs or so, which, understood, is more than most would want to read). A long description was okay for months, and there for folks to learn about us. Now it's been shorted to two sentences, although I just tried to add the "of San Jose" back in. We'll see if the edits are approved.

    We also lost the ability to create and show off our albums. The pictures we posted early on illustrating the joy of learning on children's faces wasn't just marketing, but examples to our peer museums of exhibits and programs they might want to try. Pictures of how to make a cornhusk doll or other home activities. Now the only pictures that show up are mainly of the building, and most others we upload eventually are rejected.
    Rick goes on to list around 15 other Museums from his Google+ circles that have city in their names, which is common for museums.

    FYI I tried to help this Museum awhile back too with a bad description Google was pulling from Google-owned Frommers and displaying on their G+ page.

    My research and reply:

    Wow what an interesting, sad and frustrating story.

    It seems to me you just hit a bad or misinformed support rep. City is allowed in name if it's really part of the name. Some businesses do KW stuff with city and it's usually pretty obvious that it's fake, proven by citations AND usually in spammy verticals.

    Not museums, which as you have proven so well, often (usually) have city as part of their name. And it should not even be a question for a long standing, high authority brand like yours.

    Interesting about the shortening of the description and censoring of the images. Again, I can see it with a spammy listing but not an info-rich museum listing, like I know yours used to be.

    FYI Google:

    "Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose" "(408) 298-5437" 322,000 matches in Google. I've personally never seen a listing with anywhere near that # of matches. I would think this sort of proves that this is their real name.

    Chamber of Commerce: Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose - Chamber of Commerce

    Not that it's the most authority source on the planet but Google seems to put a lot of trust in Wikepedia. Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose - Wikipedia

    I'm escalating this to Jade because I don't think it's fair or right that your legal brand was changed and not allowed. And it flies in the face of the guidelines that say "Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world."

    322,000 citations prove that's your real name and how you constantly are known in the real world.
    Frustrating and flies in the face of Google's own guidelines. Escalated to Jade last night. I have faith that she'll be able to rectify the problem, but support should have better training and this should not have happened.

    Then Keenan made some good points about the description and images. Curious to find out if Google manually edited down the G+ description that much OR if as Keenan suspects, they just removed the whole thing, leaving the description that was in the Places dashboard. Which would make more sense and be a little less Nazi. Waiting to hear back from Rick and Jade.

    Follow the thread if you care to find out what happens. Or I'll report back here to keep you updated.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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  3. #2
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Wow, this is ridiculous. Seriously now, how many grocery stores, community centers, health care institutions and other businesses legitimately use the name of their town...because it's the name of their business?!

    This is a major mess-up on Google's part. Linda, kudos to you for helping with this. Thanks for sharing this story.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

  4. #3
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Abby from Google just replied:

    Thanks for letting us know. As Linda mentioned, since Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose is your official name, this doesn't violate any of our guidelines. I've gone ahead and submitted a request to change the name on the page to Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.

    For any future issues with business name, you can use the Edit business details on the righthand side of the Google+ page or Report a problem on Google Maps.
    But sounded to me like he already reported it previously to try to get it corrected and support told him "Of San Jose" was spammy and not allowed. But I'm not sure how he reported or if he tried to edit the page.

    Anyway thankful to Abby for requesting the change!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #4
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Abby from Google just replied:

    But sounded to me like he already reported it previously to try to get it corrected and support told him "Of San Jose" was spammy and not allowed. But I'm not sure how he reported or if he tried to edit the page.

    Anyway thankful to Abby for requesting the change!
    I tried editing it via MapMaker but the current edits are unreviewable. I've seen this happen with claimed or other branded features. I'll try pushing it through via MapMaker support. Hopefully whoever stood by the Automated Bot won't get in the way of fixing the name. Ah, Places Support....

  6. #5
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sawyer View Post
    I tried editing it via MapMaker but the current edits are unreviewable. I've seen this happen with claimed or other branded features. I'll try pushing it through via MapMaker support. Hopefully whoever stood by the Automated Bot won't get in the way of fixing the name. Ah, Places Support....
    I posted on the Places thread that I got word this AM my edits and the others pending had been reviewed. After the Internal Syncer bot made some edits but the end result appears to be the correct name on the G+L and GMM sides of things as well as my addition of the CDM abbreviation to the GMM feature. Hopefully it sticks!

  7. #6
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Thanks so much Andrew for your help on this one!
    We appreciate you!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  8. #7
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Rick just let us know at the Google forum that the name is corrected live now.
    So yay!

    Thanks for your help on this Andrew! (And thanks Abby if you are reading this.)
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  9. #8
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    Re: Google+ Local Unfair Censorship - Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

    Dang scraper or bots or whatever happened!
    Google just changed the listing and stripped City out of their legal name again.

    Here is the latest in the saga for anyone that wants to follow along. I escalated to Google again and Gregg and Flash alerted the Googlers that fixed it the last time.

    Frustrated with control over our Google Plus page since the merger with Local
    (That link skips all the older posts and jumps to Rick's post today.)

    My latest reply:

    Re-copying proof from one of my previous posts, that this is not KW stuffing but their real name.

    "Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose" "(408) 298-5437" 322,000 matches in Google. I've personally never seen a listing with anywhere near that # of matches. I would think this sort of proves that this is their real name.

    Chamber of Commerce: http://www.chamberofcommerce.com/san...ens-discovery/

    Not that it's the most authority source on the planet but Google seems to put a lot of trust in Wikepedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childre...um_of_San_Jose

    I don't think it's fair or right that the legal brand was changed and not allowed.

    And it flies in the face of the guidelines that say "Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world."

    322,000 citations prove that's the real name and how they consistently are known in the real world.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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