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JanVanHaver Level 10
Level 10

Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

[As an experienced Local Guide, I now sometimes come across inconsistencies or notice that errors have been made that I used to make myself when I started out. So I am publishing a few 'best practice' posts, in the hope it can help others.]

There are basically two different ways of adding/editing information on Google Maps: in the mobile app on your phone or in the browser on your computer (a.k.a the desktop version - although it's frequently used on laptops too). Both have their pros and cons, but in one particular case I find it most convenient to use a combination of the two.

 

computer-2982270_1920.jpgPicture by Skitterphoto on Pixabay - so: not my gearAdding a new place is typically done in the mobile app, when you are walking around in a city or area and come across a point of interest (POI) that is not yet showing up on the map. And although technically you can perfectly add most of the information in the process of creating a POI, this is often not very convenient: not all additional information (like telephone number, official website, etc) is marked visibly at the POI, and attempts to look it up on their website (provided you can easily find it) is often a hassle (it's amazing how many website are still not optimized for mobile devices!).


So, what I usually do is submit the new POI with the required fields only, plus a photo taken on the spot and then move on to continue my field trip. (An addtional reason for taking a picture: sometimes the POI does exist already, but the app only reveals this fact when you click to create the POI, by serving up the 'Did you mean this one?' screen - in those cases I have a picture readily at hand to add to the exisitng POI.)

Upon returning home, I then use the desktop version to look up, in a much more conventient way, addtional information about the places I have created during the field trip, and suggest edits for those.

Other posts in this series:
Best Practice: Entering Opening hours
Best Practice: ALL CAPS / all lowercase
Best Practice: Correcting pin location
Best Practice: Choosing a more specific category
Best Practice: Submit changes one by one
Best Practice: Find the right zoom level
Best Practice: Reporting duplicates
Best Practice: Adding places without house number
Best Practice: Correcting errors you accidentally made
Best Practice: Filtering 'Check the facts'
Best Practice: Find the right category

Best Practice: Improve your reputation

Best Practice: The best order for suggesting edits

Best Practice: Get rid of legal names

Best Practice: Attempts to add bus stop or train station

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don't claim any level of official endorsement.

10 comments
JosephDewey Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

Great post! Many Google resources tell you to add as much information as possible when submitting a listing, but I've found that's one of the quickest ways to get my listing "Not Applied." I'm guessing it has a really strict website filter that often flags websites as spam. So, I do the same thing that you do.

JanVanHaver Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

Actually, another one on my 'to do' list is about the different 'weight' some facts seems to have for the algoritms (and URLs probably indeed seem to have a high 'weight')

JosephDewey Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

@JanVanHaver That will be very interesting. Phone numbers are the other one I've noticed can be very hard to publish.

Neminath Level 8
Level 8

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

@JanVanHaver, Great post friend.

Keep posting....

JanVanHaver Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop


@JosephDewey wrote:

@JanVanHaver That will be very interesting. Phone numbers are the other one I've noticed can be very hard to publish.


Hello again @JosephDewey, the one referring to 'weight' is online now

 

https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/Mapping-Your-World/Best-Practice-The-best-order-for-suggesting...

JosephDewey Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

@JanVanHaver Very, very cool. I know that this will probably be pretty controversial, since Google would rather everyone submit everything all at once, and all of their help files suggest you submit everything at once. And, it's something that gets repeated by many people here on Connect.

 

But, my experience is the exact same as yours. For me, it's much better to submit edits one by one, and then stop as soon as they start getting "Not Applied" or "Pending," in a weighted order with their website being the very last thing that I submit. I can see Google's point, though. In theory, if 20 different people all submit what they all believe is "full information" about the business, then Google's AI can just analyze everything and come up with a pretty good guess of what reality actually is. But, generally I'm just editing really small, local businesses that I'm probably going to be the only Local Guide that edits anything on their page for the next 6 months. So, I don't want to wait around until Google gets a big enough sample size.

 

I also believe that Google gives you a "trusted rating" for each part of your edits to Google Maps. For example, when I first moved to Thailand, then none of my edits for business names in Thai got applied. But, I think Google trusts me a lot more with Thai, and now about 60% of them go through immediately or within a day.

 

Oh, and now I'm just rambling, but yesterday I successfully moved a map marker that was about 10 kilometers from where it was supposed to be, and it was instantly approved. I think that's my record for how far away I've moved an errant map marker with instant approval.

JosephDewey Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

@JanVanHaver Oh, and I believe that Google would really, really like us to submit the websites first, because that's one of the primary ways that Google can make internal validations on if a business actually exists or not and if it's a running, functioning business. But Google is also really, really skeptical about any website submissions, because it's super important for Google Maps to keep all the spam out. Thus the dichotomy between them asking for the website yet rarely actually ever applying the website.

 

Oh, and I'm rambling again...and eventually I'll make this as both a post and a suggestion to Google Maps, but it would be really cool if there was a way for me to indicate on Google Maps, "There's a listing in this place, but I can't actually see the business here." I rarely mark businesses as being Permanently Closed, because a lot of times I'll walk down the next side street, and the business just has a map marker that's 100 meters away from where it should have been. So, when I see map markers that don't correspond to visible businesses, then I often think, "I know some information that's not on Google Maps, and I want to contribute this information to Google, but there's no mechanism for me to report that this business isn't actually at the map marker, unless I'm prepared to mark the business as closed."

 

Similarly, it would be nice to be able to mark that the business actually exists. I can kind of do this now by taking a photo of the business, or by visiting the business and marking, "I'm here." But there are lots of times when I know the business exists and is open, but I'm not at the business, and I don't have a photo of the business, or it's too dark to take a photo, and again, I have some information in my head that could be really useful to Google, but I have no actual way to communicate this to Google.

JanVanHaver Level 10
Level 10

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop


@JosephDewey wrote:

I rarely mark businesses as being Permanently Closed, because a lot of times I'll walk down the next side street, and the business just has a map marker that's 100 meters away from where it should have been. So, when I see map markers that don't correspond to visible businesses, then I often think, "I know some information that's not on Google Maps, and I want to contribute this information to Google, but there's no mechanism for me to report that this business isn't actually at the map marker, unless I'm prepared to mark the business as closed."


This sounds extremely familiar 🤣

aka_Rὁn Level 7
Level 7

Re: Best Practice: Create on mobile / Complete on desktop

Wow @JanVanHaver  ... you totally amaze me !

This is a wonderful resource and I shall work my way through this in greater depth over the next couple of days.

In addition to  this posting and to the articles on your blog you might consider turning this into a PDF on  one of the document sharing websites (such as Academia.edu or Scribd.com) which allow you to update the contents of the uploaded resoures so that it can be regarded as an open-ended work-in-progress.

In the meantime what you have already written deserves to be shared far more widely and I recommend that you share this link with others as it appears to be  far more helpful than some of authorised material.

Thank you for creating this  extremely useful resource and for embracing the true spirit of community.

...



■ "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?" ■ "Who watches the watchers ?" ■ the satirical poet, Juvenal ■ 1st century Rome ■