Why Small Businesses Hate Google+ Local (Comigraphic)

Mike Ramsey

Author Mike Ramsey

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  • AvatarNyagoslav says:

    Pure awesomeness! Google’s reply is almost identical with the real one 🙂 But I must admit that the best of the whole piece was the movie quote! Macaulay Culkin FTW

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      Haha! Thanks Nyagoslav. I had the most fun coming up with their response based on 100’s of canned emails I have received from webmaster tools, google+ local inquires, etc.

  • AvatarEunice Coughli says:

    Very nice. Inspired by The Oatmeal? Great job, especially the part about every creeper gets to see your review and know who you are

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      The Oatmeal? who’s that, never heard of em’ 😉

  • AvatarWill Scott says:

    Another great comic-ographic! It wouldn’t be nearly as funny if it wasn’t so true.

    Looking forward to a Nifty Weekend in MN & NYC.

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      Same here Will. Now if i could just get that opengraph image tag to work properly.

  • AvatarAndrew Johnson says:

    This is awesome- I love that customer review.
    I posted the graphic here: with a couple of links to you. You should add an embed code!

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      We used to do embed codes, and I am testing what happens if we don’t. Matt Cutts recently talked a bit about infographics and using embed’s to basically game anchor text. So, I am seeing if we lose links, get more diverse anchors etc.

      • AvatarAndrew Johnson says:

        That’s a good point, Mike. I’m sure links will be built to this page anyway, and they’ll look a lot more natural in the end.

        Andrew (@andrewjohnsonseo)

  • I wish they knew what they were doing with Google+ so they didn’t have to shoehorn everything that is already WORKING for Google with the Google+ brand.

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      Well, when their bonuses are tied to it you minds well screw up good things to create half baked projects that need to get pushed out of the door before they are fully functioning. I mean, it only effects millions of businesses so not to big of a deal.

  • Good one Mike and SOOOOO true. Glad you got a crack at dupes in there too! 😉

    I want to post about this at the Local Search Forum, but that thumbnail is too tiny to read. Ok if I just crop part of the very top image to link to?

  • Oh how I love this, let me count the ways! It’s just sad that it’s so true. I understand that the big G has proprietary rights to the way they handle the reviews, but it doesn’t have to be this hard to leave reviews. It only hurts businesses and in turn hurts Google itself (in minor percentages of course).

    • Mike RamseyMike Ramsey says:

      well said.

  • The iterations of Google Local, to Google Places to Local+ make no sense even to experienced marketers. I loathe to think of the small business owner who hopes to make sense of it on their own.

    I keep coming back to the idea that a small business owner did something nasty to one of the Google Local product managers and this is their vengeance.

  • Absolute genius, old google places was much better, shame google sees fit to get people to join Google+ even if not particularly interested in it, or social networking.

    Personally prefer Twitter for simplicity when it comes to Social networking and old Google Places listings was great for simplicity in adding and finding good local services, etc.

    Very entertaining take on it all 🙂

  • Talk about hitting the nail on the head. The only thing I would add is the 3 steps it takes to help educate the client/business owner about the importance of reviews and how not to solicit them but to get them somehow(a whole other conversation)

    I brought this up with a colleague of mine and would like to see what you think. I feel like since local isn’t monetized right now that it’s kind of backburner material. When they push everyone into the social aspect of Google+ then they will be able to make money on this when they flood + with ads and all the other things. The changes and loss of reviews and all the other crap that we’ve been dealing with from Google within the last 5 years has made our Local community up in arms. Great article.

  • AvatarJoe Dent says:

    This comigraphic makes me sad even though its an 11 of pure awesome. The only thing it missed was showing the negative reviews passing harmlessly through the filter, even when they obviously violate google guidelines.

  • Mike, this is so funny, but at the same time makes me cringe having to deal with this exact thing day in, day out with small business owners … I have seen them literally give up and not waste anymore time with Google and venture to figure out Yelp (which they THOUGHT they hated worse) LOL

  • This was the highlight of my day. I really hope Google sees it.

  • AvatarRick Noel says:

    Very funny post and a lot of truth 😉 That is why it makes sense to let the customers chose their favorite social sites which they are already a member of, letting them chose what sites to leave
    reviews on. For those that have never left an online review before, it is a bigger investment of good will to ask for reviews and probably not worth it.Those who already have Goolge+ profiles who have written reviews are much less likely to look like SPAM reviews by Google, with minimal effort required. Most SPAM reviews follow the same workflow as the one laid out in this post.

  • As a small business owner what I hate is way addresses get changed. Despite changing the address, waiting eons for the validation postcard to arrive (no phone validation in the UK) and then validating. Google then see fit to change it back to the old address the next month.

    Yes there is a business that operates with a similar name in the same building, but you would think that google would eventually learn not to change it. Maybe google can’t learn because it’s retarded

  • Great infographic guys. If only Google would actually listen to us. We laugh about this stuff but you would think sooner or later Google would get a clue and get this stuff figured out.

    One thing you left out in this infographic…you left out the new complexity of the Zagat review system. How many customers loathe the extra “thinking” involved with the new system? A simple 5 star rating like before would be nice:)

    Travis Van Slooten

  • Random Creeper! Awesome.

    Huge problem for lawyers, doctors, and other businesses where you dont want anyone to know you’re going there.

    great post. voted up on


  • Avatarseogenx says:

    Truly a funny incident. I still do not understand the how exactly all are sync together – Google Places, Google+ Local, Google Maps and Local results in Google search.

  • Great infographic! This is too funny and sadly, very true. This is exactly what we’re trying to solve at the company I’m working for.

    I work for a company called Terillion ( and we help local businesses get real reviews from their real customers at the point of service. Customers simply write a quick review on our new iPad kiosk app. The customers themselves then distribute those reviews and interactions to places like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yelp, Trip Adviser, our own Terillion directory and more. With this service, fake reviews aren’t needed and real reviews are easy to collect and distribute.

    Just thought I’d share so you could know there a things being done to stop this plague of ridiculous/hard to get/fake reviews. 🙂 Again, thanks for the great infographic. It’s very much appreciated. We had some good laughs here at the office.

    Jessica Robertson

  • Brilliant and sad simultaneously. Google’s arrogance has no bounds and that is demonstrated so well with their Google+ Local (formerly Places, Maps, Buzz, Boost). This infograph is inspiring actually, although deleted and missing reviews is among the least of Google’s small business atrocities.

  • Great stuff Mike!

    Did you guys do this infographic..? Or do you have person who designs these for you? Great idea.

    I am sure Google Local saw this. 😉

    • Matthew – I did this one myself. My first attempt at illustrator.

  • AvatarAndy SEO says:

    If it wasn’t for some of the exaggerations and illustrations this could serve as the actual process!! I see that Google have released new guidelines today and have warned against 3rd party reviews. It is with little wonder that this practice has been carried out with a throw more sh*t and some of it will stick. I hope the new system will prove fairer.

  • AvatarAndy SEO says:

    I don’t know if you are still monitoring this thread Jessica but under the new guidelines the practice of putting an Ipad at point of purchase is against Google’s TOS.

  • AvatarAllen says:

    Don’t get me started about claiming a publisher page address to find out that it has to be done again in Local, and that places is not connected to Places in adwords extensions. I’m not sure if I needed to laugh or cry after reading this.

  • HI Mike…

    Your “comigraphic” is simply priceless. I just read your article over on (40 Important Local Search Questions Answered) where you provided a link to it here.

    Boy am I glad I clicked that link to take a look.

    You really have nailed the current situation. Even though this post was published many months ago… the frustration continues.

    Thanks again. I needed a bit of humor on this subject.

    ~ Louie

  • Hilarious! Exactly what it’s like. I’m sure Googleis trying something to fix this, but their priorities are focused on making Adwords more confusing and expensive.

  • AvatarDaniel says:

    I also followed this over from the 40 local search questions article. This is too funny, well too funny and too sad and too real all at the same time.

    With a number of people I’ve spoken with, it isn’t only the (too) many steps involved in actually writing the review but the requirement of your full name to be posted. I know Google thinks it will keep down fake reviews but at the same time it is keeping down legit reviews.

    Even in a negative sense, if I have a bad experience at a local restaurant, do I want to be named as the person who left the bad review forever? Even with positive reviews, I don’t want someone googling my name and saying, “oh look, here is where he likes his frozen yogurt, here is where he bathes his dog, he doesn’t like that one car place and there is right where he lives!” … no thanks.