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  1. #1
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    Arrow How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will? Wired Magazine

    That's the title of the Wired Story, but I'm not quite buying it.

    Here is sort of an odd story in Wired Magazine. Sounds like it took months for this business owner to realize his hours were wrong on his Google local listing then months later he goes out of business and blames it all on Google?

    But it quotes Mike Blumenthal and his client Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry and goes into some of the Bryan Seeley maps shenanigans so thought it was worth a share.

    How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will | WIRED

    It turned out that Google Places, the search giant’s vast business directory, was misreporting the Serbian Crown’s hours. Anyone Googling Serbian Crown, or plugging it into Google Maps, was told incorrectly that the restaurant was closed on the weekends, Bertagna says. For a destination restaurant with no walk-in traffic, that was a fatal problem.

    Bertagna puts the blame for his restaurant’s collapse on Google, and he’s suing the company in federal court in Virginia. His lawyer’s theory is that a competing restaurant sabotaged the Google Places listing to drive away the Serbian Crown’s customers, and he argues that Google turns a blind eye to such shenanigans. Google’s lawyers scoff at the lawsuit. “The Serbian Crown should not be permitted to vex Google or this Court with such meritless claims,” they wrote in a filing last month. (Google didn’t respond to repeated inquiries for this story)

    For a number of reasons, the claim is probably doomed in court. But the premise of the lawsuit—that the Serbian Crown was sabotaged online—isn’t as farfetched as it might seem.

    Thoughts???
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  2. #2
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    Re: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will? Wired Magazine

    While I agree that even having the option for a random person to change the business hours of a business in a way that is harmful for that business is horrible, I think in this particular case the reasons might have been other. I noticed they had started having negative reviews (including such concerning their service quality) prior to the decline in business on weekends period the owner quotes. I believe that wrong working hours problems just added to an already existing problem for them.
    Director of Local Search at Whitespark

  3. #3
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    Re: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will? Wired Magazine

    Good points Nyag!

    Here is a StreetFight article Damian wrote that goes into more detail:

    Unmanaged Local Listings Hurt Consumers and Businesses Alike | Street Fight
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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

  4. #4
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    Re: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will? Wired Magazine

    Quote Originally Posted by Nyagoslav View Post
    While I agree that even having the option for a random person to change the business hours of a business in a way that is harmful for that business is horrible, I think in this particular case the reasons might have been other. I noticed they had started having negative reviews (including such concerning their service quality) prior to the decline in business on weekends period the owner quotes. I believe that wrong working hours problems just added to an already existing problem for them.
    Yea I noticed the negative reviews also. Although those could be a part of an overall negative campaign by competitors, hard to tell.

    Good lesson to remember though, don't put all your eggs in google's basket.

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