Google Local Mall Update - Did Google just Change Your NAP?


Linda Buquet

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Escondido shoe stores

<img src="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/MallUpdate.jpg" alt="MallUpdate" width="55%" />​


I believe there was a minor Google Local update late last week. It appears Google just started adding the mall or shopping center name in front of the address on local listings.

So I'm dubbing it the mall update.

At least I believe this is new. I don't watch terms for businesses that would ever be in a mall, so would not have noticed if this was somehow old news I missed. But since a couple folks just noticed Google adding mall names to their listings the past few days, I believe it's new.

This change has causes concerns about citation consistency but I don't think you need to worry.

<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/103100023922847518590">Bill Verboom</a> mentioned this Thursday at the Local Search Pros Community.

Then I found this a post by Jwag Saturday. Did some checking and indeed it does seem there was an update and mall names were consistently added everywhere I checked.

<a href="http://www.jwag.biz/newsletters/2015/02/27/google-local-now-shows-shopping-mall-information.html">Google+ Local Now Shows Shopping Mall Information</a>

However, now we have a new wrench that Google's created. Google's business directory is considered to be one of the most accurate, and it's even more accurate with the automatic addition of the shopping mall information. However, your website and the other online directories now need to be updated to match Google's format.

Once the website is changed, you then need to go through and also modify all your online business identities and all the directories like YellowPages, CitySearch, Yelp, etc.

However I don't think folks need to scramble to change NAP on their site and citations necessarily. I base that in part on the fact that even though SABs have no address at all showing on the display side, Google is still matching citations based on what's in dash.

I checked some jewelry stores in my area that had the mall name added and the mall name is not in Map Maker. Only the original NAP shows in Map Maker.

So I'm pretty sure the mall is just added at display time to help consumers and as far as matching NAP citations, she's still matching the original address that's in the dashboard.


I base my opinion in part on the fact that even though SABs have no address at all showing on the display side, Google is still matching citations based on what's in dash.

That's my initial thought anyway...

Would you agree??? If the change is just on the front end display, not in dashboard or in Map Maker, then you don't need to worry about citations?

Can you check any of your listings with locations in malls and let me know if the address changed to add the mall name?

All in all, I think it's a great consumer facing move that makes sense and I don't think there is anything for business owners to be concerned about.

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="Hang on. Don't think you need to worry about citation consistency? Do you?">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
 
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Linda I think this is a good direction for Google to better identify locations within Malls and similar features. I don't know how this really changes someones NAP consistency since ad you point out the info in MapMaker is just the physical address without reference to a mall. That means Google still has the ability to serve up the same physical address to others via an API.
 

Margaret Ornsby

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Not seeing it down under yet.

The only way we're seeing it here (it seems this way, anyway), is if the owner of the page has put the mall in themselves on the page. Even if the mall is on the website it's not necessarily getting picked up by G.

Do like the change though; would like to see that world-wide. :)
 

Linda Buquet

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<div class="gmail_default">Great update for consumers!</div>
<div class="gmail_default">Except when the algo gets it wrong!</div>
<div class="gmail_default"><a href="https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/business/8neyByydepY/u14eVLNpiYkJ" target="_blank"><b>Report in the Google forum</b></a>: "<b>We are a Bridal Salon and google lists us as a drug rehab center.
Please help us."</b></div>
<div class="gmail_default">I investigated (see thread above for more info) and there is a rehab center with that name that's not even located in that building. Totally different address. But somehow Google thinks that rehab center is a mall name and added "Fresh Start Addiction Treatment" to all the businesses in that building.</div>
<div class="gmail_default">The treatment center's address is hidden on the listing so I Googled:
<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Fresh+Start+Addiction+Treatment%22+%2212325+N+May+Ave%22+%22Oklahoma+City%22&ie=UTF-8" target="_blank"><b>"Fresh Start Addiction Treatment"</b></a><a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Fresh+Start+Addiction+Treatment%22+%2212325+N+May+Ave%22+%22Oklahoma+City%22&ie=UTF-8" target="_blank"><b> "12325 N May Ave" "Oklahoma City"</b></a>
to see if it was listed at that address or not.</div>
<div class="gmail_default">Check that query and you'll see a bunch of businesses at that address like Subway and others and ALL listings have "Fresh Start Addiction Treatment" stuck in front of their street address on the listing, as if that's the name of the strip mall they are in.</div>
<div class="gmail_default">The bad thing too, <a href="https://plus.google.com/115217236475334561278/about" target="_blank"><b>using Subway as example</b></a><span class="Apple-converted-space"> is that the listing now only shows address as "Fresh Start Addiction Treatment, 12325 N..." so you don't even see the street they are on.</div>

FYI I just escalated all the to Google and wonder if it signifies a broader issue with this update?

Wonder if there are any other mix ups? May want to check your listings just in case.
 

Cori Shirk

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I love the theory behind this update but Google seems to be getting it wrong for a lot of my clients :( I work with a national eye care center and unfortunately a lot of our stores now seem to be located within other stores in the mall, which makes me wonder what the algorithm is using to determine the "parent location" (for lack of a better word)... Maybe age of G+ local page? For example, if the G+ page for Wet Seal at the Tucson Mall was created before the G+ page for the mall itself, will the parent location default to Wet Seal?

I remember seeing something similar to this back in 2013 when I was working with a hospital network:



So they've been testing this for a while. It was super wonky back then though. Either way, it won't be too long til they roll this out for other store/ department relationships besides malls :)
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Cori!

I escalated because I don't think this is an isolated incidence, so if you can give me other examples where the mall is listed wrong that would really help!

Privately is fine if it's not something you want to share in public.

Thanks!
 

Linda Buquet

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New report came in from the Pro Community.

Kaycie Smith said:

I would say there is a broader issue with the update. Here in AZ, Chandler Fashion Center is now "Lovesac- Chandler Fashion Center":

https://plus.google.com/112276117770722697742/about

https://plus.google.com/103387614848757415348/about

https://plus.google.com/115058225186353024241/about

interestingly- it is omitted from the actual store:

https://plus.google.com/100097664401380619784/about

BTW- who knew there was a str called lovesac-lol!

Linda replied:

Oh man, that 1st link you dropped. The Lego Store. The address is:
"Lovesac, Lovesac - Chandler Fashion Center..."
with the rest of address cut off.
 

Scott Rawlins

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Well, this is not good. Well intended, but not good. Guess I better carve out some time to check some clients.
 

Linda Buquet

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In investigating the original case from the Google forum some more... that rehab center is pulling some shady stuff. Whole ring of KW stuffed listings with most reviewers cross reviewing other rehabs in different states.

PLUS I noticed a lot of those KW stuffed rehabs including the original one I mentioned are listed as "shopping centers" here: Shopping Centers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - ServicesonRequest

I'm wondering if they did some citation spamming with "shopping center" as one of their categories and Google scraped it enough times that the algo thinks it must be a mall??? Again, not just from that one funky little directory but if they are listed there, maybe they are listed other places too?
 

Linda Buquet

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Kacie just reported more weirdness at the Pro Community.

"Could be part of the issue, but there seems to be something else going on as well... just checked another local mall:
https://plus.google.com/101006849266758375228/about?hl=en&gl=us

https://plus.google.com/113392334530059382508/about?hl=en&gl=us

office max is attached to all the stores/restaurants at Desert Ridge Marketplace

Not sure what made Google grab office max- I wonder how much of this has to do with taking descriptors out of listings. (the anticipation of this new update)"



I just checked links above and:

Dave & Buster's address listed with double mall name and Office Max inserted. Address: "Desert Ridge Marketplace, OfficeMax Desert Ridge Marketplace"

Yard House address is OfficeMax Desert Ridge Marketplace then address.

But California Pizza Kitchen is backwards of that with address 1st then OfficeMax Desert Ridge Marketplace.

But she's right, all of the businesses I checked in that Mall have OfficeMax inserted in address.

I escalated all these to Google as well.
 
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With the "Office Max" appearing before the mall locations in phoenix, I wonder if it has something to do with how the address is formatted. It looks like all the locations that don't have "Office Max" before the shopping center name have their address formatted slightly different (suite #, STE, "address,#", etc). I wonder if that's throwing a wrench into how Google is interpreting the location.

That's more of a speculative observation. No hard evidence to support that besides what I saw in Maps.
 

Linda Buquet

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The container store rule change makes a little more sense now, since we've been discussing malls in this other thread. If Google's really trying to identify the main structure the businesses are housed/contained in, then I can see why they wouldn't want you to include "company (inside Walmart)" within the title. They would already recognize you're inside Walmart (if they get it to work right) and peg that on the address for you.
To be sure the info is cross pollinated wanted to share Eric's comment above, which was posted at the New Guidelines for Google My Business thread.

Makes so much sense. Thanks Eric!
 

FriarTuck00

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I'm a little late to the party, so forgive me for just now chiming in. Am I correct in understanding that even though Google is adding the shopping center to the local results, that for other listings/data providers, you do not need to add the shopping center to the street address?

Also, when creating new GMB listings, should you include the shopping center in the address or no? Thanks!

Zane Tuck
 

chadkimball

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curious if there is any way to be preemptive to help ensure that google gets this right before there are problems? For example, is there some way to feed the correct parent/child relationship to google without having to just call support after they get it wrong?
 
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try using schema markup on your website to note the business is contained inside another entity. Google's gotten pretty good at understanding what the major entity (mall center or plaza) actually is, so adding the additional markup on your website when you code in the NAP info should help.
 

Cori Shirk

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Hey Eric, do you have an example of a site that utilizes Schema this way? I'm not aware of a type that will allow you to specify "LocatedIn" or something similar- the only way I can think to do this would be to list the store as a department of the larger shopping center ("ShoppingCenter" to "department" and then another type underneath that). Can you do this in reverse?

What do you all think about including larger shopping centers in your structured NAP? Good idea? Terrible idea? Usually I recommend clients mention the shopping centers somewhere else in page content to send contextual signals but I'm curious to hear some other thughts.
 

Linda Buquet

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I'm curious Joy, is this the same thing you just blogged about? Because this post was from 3/15 when I noticed the update. Or is your post about some new nuance?

For those that missed it, here is Joy's post from a couple days ago:

<a href="http://www.joyannehawkins.com/google-adds-feature-for-stores-inside-shopping-malls/">Google Adds Feature for Stores Inside Shopping Malls</a>

The screenshots above in the 1st couple posts were just showing the old 7 pack layout, but I think it's the same thing?

Plus note the Pro link above that Chad mentioned, where there was a good discussion about how to trigger it or be sure it triggers right.
 

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