This post was originally published in January 2013. In March/April 2018 Industry Canada closed the Canadian Company Capabilities (CCC) website. It is no longer a directory source that affects Google Maps. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
You and I both know that a 3-par golf course is not also the exact location of a 10,000 square foot manufacturing facility, but heck, did Google ever love dragging the map marker for a particular client back to that sand trap over and over again.
I blamed Google as a whole for this tragedy, and started a list of the top 700 reasons why Google makes me want to quit my Internet job and become a [carpenter] [Olympic-level table-tennis player] [tree planter].
You can see that location (A) is at the entrance for the golf course on 118A Avenue. The business address for the client is 18550 118A Avenue NW. You’ll also notice that the nearest cross-street is 199 Street NW – which is a far cry from the actual cross street of 185 Street NW.
I assumed it was Google glitching and misplacing the marker over and over again, no matter how many times I dragged it to its rightful spot. Two things that inhibit real progress: blaming and assuming.
I wanted this fixed because obviously I couldn’t just let Google beat me. I needed this fixed because the look on the client’s face was so devastated when I told her that Google was beating me. I did a null submit. I used map maker. I filed a ticket. I asked Dana to fix it for me. I searched to see if another soul out there was suffering a similar plight.
Then I was struck by a terrible fear. What if I had lobbed an incorrectly formatted address into a citation I built for this client? Disaster! I immediately started combing through all of the work I had done for this account earlier in the year and found no errors. Yeah that’s right, one of the things we do really well at Kick Point is high-quality citation building. Interested?
Eventually, on the third SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for a search of the company name, I found it. I finally found the culprit. Industry Canada.
After spending three years battling with the government over immigration forms, this was really just the icing on the cake that is Canada.
I had been baffled about Google not understanding that there was a huge difference between 199 Street and 185 Street just because they both cross different 118 A Avenues. I mean, surely the postal code must count for something right? Turns out, maybe not so much. Unit 18550 118A Avenue. Ah!
I spoke with the client to explain the address error, and she got in touch with her Industry Canada contact. Then it just took five business days for the address to be corrected.
After the correct address was live I went back to the map and pulled the pin to the correct location again. I could do it with my eyes closed at that point. Muscle memory.
I woke up the next morning and raced to my computer to check on the map. TOO SOON, no change. Sigh.
Anyways, shortly after that I left for Christmas Vacation and promptly forgot about everything that wasn’t $1.20 beers, sunshine, and this super cute (dead) puffer fish.
Guess what I came home to? A plant that survived three weeks without me and the map marker in the correct location! Best trip ever!
When David Mihm wrote about the Local Search Ecosystem last May, he suspected that Google was using Industry Canada data to validate its information and our experience certainly supports that theory. So instead of pulling a pin around a Google map day in, day out until you go wild, take a quick stop by your Industry Canada listing and make sure it’s correct!
Great real-life case study, Jen! I’ve always had this thought and have also been preaching it around – if something goes wrong with your Google+ Local listing, search for the problem everywhere else but at Google. The logic is that Google doesn’t self-create business information, i.e. the information it displays is not proprietary, but rather referred from another source. The source could be either the business owner (or the person responsible for the online marketing of the business), or a third-party. If it is 100% sure that the business owner was not the one who submitted the information wrongly, then the problem must be coming from some third-party. In this sense, the research of David Mihm is invaluable, especially if you look at something many people miss – the thicker arrows represent directly fed information, which means that Google relies heavily on those sources of information. In the case of Canada the two most trusted sources are Yellowpages.ca and Industry Canada. So if a problem, such as the one you described, occurs I’d suggest to always have these two as the usual suspects and start your research from there 🙂
Thanks again for the great piece!
Amen sista! Industry Canada (besides Yellowpages) I believe is the most important citation a local business can have. Unfortunately, Industry Canada has kind of cracked down on listings, and now requires owners to verify/update their listing each and every year.
Thanks for the info Industry Canada is a big citation for local.
I have always used Industry Canada as one of the sources for link building and local citations for my Canadian clients. But, I did not know that Google used it as the main source for business listing verification. I always thought that it was Yellow Pages.
Thank you for your insights.