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  1. #1
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    Question Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

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    You may have seen menu links on some G+ Local pages, normally for restaurants. These links are algorithmically generated and can't be directly controlled by the business owner. They usually lead to a handful of menu services.

    There have been numerous complaints about from GoDaddy's "Get Found" service on Locu - one type of "menu" link that shows up on Google Local Pages. Complaints have surfaced at the Google forums, our Pro Community and here at this forum about. I assume these menu links are similar to the hotel booking links and there is a commercial relationship between GoDaddy Locu and Google.

    Now you would think these menu links would only show up on restaurants, but they are showing up on other types of businesses as well. Sometimes with totally bad data, as you'll see in the examples below.

    Essentially business owners (some that are not even restaurants) are claiming that Locu scrapes their data and creates a page for the company. (Fine, many directories do that.) However most companies will let you claim and edit the data if it's wrong. In some cases it's been reported that Locu only lets you change your info if you sign a contract and pay a monthly fee.

    Let me start by sharing a few cases I've worked on or seen.

    UPDATE 2/11 : All the Locu pages that worked as of the original post date, have now been deleted and go to 404 error pages.


    dividermulti

    #1 A Child's playground being wrongly presented as an adult entertainment play place with the Locu streetview image being a back alley looking scary type of house you would never leave your children at. (Instead of the nice building it's actually in.)

    Wrong Menu Link on Listing

    "The local result on the right side (Knowledge Graph) and on the G+ L page has the WRONG menu link. (locu.com) It goes to an adult entertainment site, Nest Philly is a children's playground. I've reported the issue twice to Google with no response. This is a major issue. Please either fix it or tell me how I can fix it, as within their Google+ profile, there is no "menu" section to edit."
    Here's the G+ Local page for The Nest a Children's Play space. (Check streetview it's a nice building.)

    The Locu link goes to a shoddy looking adult amusement place called Paul & Brii's Love Nest.
    The address and phone is correct but the streetview image on the Locu page looks like a back alley house you would NEVER leave your children at.

    Talk about reputation damaging mistakes with both the misclassification as adult entertainment and the bad street view image!

    UPDATE: I escalated to Google. They removed the menu link. But the Locu page is still a bad merge with the Adult entertainment name, cruddy streetview image and classification as adult entertainment - mixed up with the Nest's services, their brand, address, phone and URL.

    dividermulti

    #2 An auto dealer with a menu? Ahhh but it's a menu of facial spa services?

    Why is there "menu" below our information on Google+? We're a car dealership.

    The dealer said, he just wanted to get rid of the menu link. Don't think he even checked to see where that link landed. I investigated and it went to a page on Locu that I guess was a bad merge.

    Head over to the Ron Hopkins Ford, Inc Locu page and scroll down for all their facial and spa services.

    Get Microdermabrasion while your husband shops for his new car??? Not a bad business model.

    This is the one of the cases I've seen where the menu link was removed. In most cases, calls resulted in being told Google support has no control over those links, they are algo generated and can't be removed. But the bad Locu page remains.

    dividermulti

    #3 This restaurant's Locu Menu page had incorrect info AND says they are closed Friday, the busiest night of the week. Owner 'claims' Locu was holding his page for ransom. Then when he threatened to sue, Locu deleted the page. So now he has a dead menu link on his G+ L that he says support can't delete it and won't replace it with his own menu.

    google inserted link to content thief on my business listing
    NOTE: Brief nippets only. Click over to read the entire post - it's long.

    "This site, locu.com, had scraped content from my site. I've never dealt with them, they just happened to be content thieves who were using my content for their benefit, including some specific names and phrases that I've paid to trademark. This is the kind of thing that google claims to fight against, to prevent scrapers and aggregators stealing traffic away from actual content creators.

    Now I wouldn't turn away free visibility, except that they were listing outdated and false information. The menu was outdated, showing food we no longer offer, and the wrong pricing on food we still offer. The most serious problem was that they were showing hours of operation we've never had, listing that our restaurant was closed all day on Fridays. I thought that was defamatory, so I set to correct the hours and see if I could update the menu...

    Godaddy is the service provider for locu.com, and it turns out they didn't need any verification from me, they just required $17.95/month per listing and they'd give me access to any listing on the site. They would not let me correct the hours of operation until I had signed up for the monthly subscription, effectively demanding a ransom. I told them to expect to hear from my lawyer, and they deleted the entire page very quickly. Now visiting that url results in a 404...

    ...I've tried map maker, requests through Google My Business, and have even spent time on phone support. They can't do anything to help me, because this is the policy, to link to a 404! I think the policy is wrong and anti-google, if my understanding of google's mission is correct. Please seize this opportunity and let us edit or remove the field."
    The Locu link has not been removed and still goes to a 404 error page.


    dividermulti


    Here are a couple other examples and related posts:

    Removing Locu Menu from my Google+ Business Page (Another restaurant alleging bad info and image.) Again compare the street view images. The one on Locu, shows the restaurant in a bad light. It's basically a back alley shot instead of the front of the building.)

    The consultant in the post above said: "My client is not willing to pay for their services to claim the page in order to correct the issue."

    Dentist's G+ Local page has a menu link that goes to a Dry Cleaners page. (Looks like a bad merge like the car dealer.) I just found this one in the wild when spot checking.

    There are 2 more below and other cases I've seen, but you get the picture, so I'll stop there.


    dividermulti


    Quite a few ex-Googlers work at Locu too, so you know they have some smart cookies. I'm sure most of their pages are correct. But there are enough problems being reported that it seems their scraping technology, their matching technology or something is problematic.

    One thing is clear to me though. If this bad data was just on Locu, these SMBs would probably not even notice. But finding this bad info right on their Google+ Local page certainly gets their attention and makes these businesses highly motivated to try to get the info corrected! I'm sure there are some that would pay for the service, just to get the data fixed, especially when it's really bad.

    In a post here at our forum Bryan Heckler said:

    Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
    It took some doing to get a hold of someone, [at Locu] but they did take care of it. It seems to me that they could actually market to SMBs by creating menu pages for companies and feeding those menus/prices to Google. When they're incorrect it forces you to contact them to get it corrected... pretty good marketing technique.

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    1) If you have a Locu page with really bad info like that above, I have to think that if you were assertive or talked to the right person you could get Locu to edit it without a fee.

    2)
    If you have a restaurant and your problem is that you want your own menu link instead of the Locu link, then the following discussion with Local Search Pros at our G+ Community will be of interest.

    If you work with restaurants, this question is for you!

    David Kutcher said: "Google goes to third party sources when it can't easily define your own. So all of the two dozen restaurants that I help with have their menus going to their own link, and using their open table link for reservations. Which can be defined in the schema."
    So in a nutshell based on what I've gathered in my research, if Google can easily find a properly marked up menu on your site she is more likely to use your menu. If not, she'll use one of the menu sites Google partners with, one of which is Locu.

    3) However if you are not a restaurant and have a menu link that does not even make sense, you can't exactly create a fake menu in schema to replace the Locu menu. And from what I've read these are algo generated and Google support reportedly says they can't delete them.

    We've escalated a few of these. Some have been removed and some have not.
    Will keep you posted if I hear anything from Google on this issue.

    How about you? Do you have "menu" links on any client pages? Any problems?

    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".

  2. #2
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    re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    You're a saint Linda! Dealing with this can be super frustrating.

  3. #3
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    I have never noticed those links before. I will have to look over our client's G+ pages to see if they have any menus.

    I went through each of the examples you posted because I had never noticed them before and all the locu.com menu pages were 404s.

    It doesn't make sense to me that support would have no way of deleting them from a platform they own.

    Does the menu show up if you have used locu? Or does it show up regardless if it can some how match it your business?

  4. #4
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    Interesting. Those pages were ALL up at the time I published. (Except for the restaurant that threatened to sue, their page was deleted and a 404.)

    They must have read this and deleted them all. It's a new style BIG RED 404 page.
    Not what they had before either.

    But the menu links are still on some of the G+ Local pages. They are just dead links now.

    "Does the menu show up if you have used locu? Or does it show up regardless if it can some how match it your business?"

    I'm sure if you are a Locu customer the links would show providing NAP is similar enough for Google to make a match.

    But all the ones I've seen were scraped and not claimed by the business owners because all the ones I've seen and reported on above had bad data.

    But yes, it's algo driven, so based on Google finding a page it thinks is a match. But they use other menu services for restaurants and show those instead.

    However, Locu is the only one I know of that would show a "menu" link for a Dentist, car dealer, spa or children's playground.
    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. #5
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Interesting. Those pages were ALL up at the time I published. (Except for the restaurant that threatened to sue, their page was deleted and a 404.)

    They must have read this and deleted them all. It's a new style BIG RED 404 page.
    Not what they had before either.
    They are on to you!
    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    But yes, it's algo driven, so based on Google finding a page it thinks is a match. But they use other menu services for restaurants and show those instead.

    However, Locu is the only one I know of that would show a "menu" link for a Dentist, car dealer, spa or children's playground.
    Locu is the only one of the menu services that show menus for outside of the industry?

    Do they ever get the menu right for other industries outside of food?

  6. #6
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    Quote Originally Posted by armstead View Post
    They are on to you!

    Locu is the only one of the menu services that show menus for outside of the industry?

    Do they ever get the menu right for other industries outside of food?
    Yep they must have read this which is good! Seems they need a little more QC on their listing data.

    Locu is the only one I know of that shows menus for industries other than restaurants. Usually menu implies food. The others Google links to are regular menu sites.

    I'm sure most of their listings are correct. I've only seen the problems that have been reported.
    There were enough of them, that I felt it warranted a warning to just check the link, if it shows up on any client G+ L pages.
    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".

  7. #7
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Yep they must have read this which is good! Seems they need a little more QC on their listing data.

    It's the only one I know of. Usually menu implies food - and I've only seen traditional menu services listed and only for restaurants, except for Locu.

    I'm sure most of their listings are correct. I've only seen the problems that have been reported.
    There were enough of them, that I felt it warranted a warning to just check the link, if it shows up on any client G+ L pages.
    I'm sure Locu doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize Google accepting menu feeds from them (IMO - its tie to GMB is the only reason you would want to use the service).

  8. #8
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    I just found a locu menu on a restaurant we manage.
    But here is the rub, as a few days ago we had pictures on our listing too. Now all I see are these weird images. Has anyone heard of Locu replacing the images for a restaurant?

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  9. #9
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    Robin, those look like G+ L missing image icons.

    Did the listing by chance become suspended or unverified?

    That's a G+ L issue. Doubt it has anything to do with Locu. The only thing that happens with Locu, is the menu link on the page.
    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".

  10. #10
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    Re: Numerous Complaints about GoDaddy's Locu Menu Links on Google Local Pages

    It's possible the old marketing company could of gone in and deleted the images, I am checking that now. The pictures were there last week, but not today. It is currently verified.

    ---------- Post Merged at 12:25 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 12:23 PM ----------

    Good news I think I found the photos they were in the scrapbook photos. I am going to see if I can add them to the listing as Public added photos.

    It's so weird the photos in the scrapbook would show in the carousel but are not any longer. Frustrating.

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