Google Maps News

Crowdsourcing: Open Source, or Open Scourge?

The mighty Google suffered the same fate as many open-source content sites (like Wikipedia) suffered in their early days this month, as a user renamed the well-known Theoduer-Huss Square in Berlin after Adolf Hitler on Google Maps. This change made it past a small army of volunteers and a moderator so keen on the change, he didn’t just list “Adolf Hitler Platz” as an alternate name for the location, but the canonical one.

This phenomenon is reminiscent of Mountain Dew’s “Dub the Dew” debacle. Crowdsourcing earned a new green apple flavored drink the suggested names of “Diabeetus,” “Hitler did nothing wrong,” and several variations on the theme of “Gushing Granny.”

Looks like the Goog might have a lesson to learn. For starters, they can set clear boundaries on the user-end side of their application before suggestions including “hot” terms don’t make it to an over-worked moderator in the first place.

Google Maps the Hottest Travel App of 2014:

Though there’s really nothing new about it, a contributor at Forbes Online just picked Google Maps as her #1 travel app for 2014. The reason why might be novel, as it has nothing to do at all with how it normally functions with Internet connectivity, but instead has everything to do with how it functions offline.

Essentially, if a user saves a page of their destination using a Hotel’s wi-fi, they save precious data plan allotments for another day. To the weary, data-poor traveler, this is an unintended functionality that serves as a huge boon.

The Travel Industry & Local SEO Is The Next Frontier

Gowalla-the local meetup service is getting into the travel game-in a small way.  They now know when you fly by looking to see where you have ‘checked in’ and they show it via some spiffy graphics.  So if I check in at dca and arrive at lax they will show it on the airport’s page.

I track these things however I don’t actually use the services.  The people who should know when I am flying, my family, friends, clients, know that because I tell them.  Not because a graphic on a page tells them.  I just, personally, have privacy concerns about this and similar services.  And I don’t need the ego boost to know I am “Mayor” of my local Starbucks to feel important.  But that is just me.

However, I will watch to see what moves they make in the industry so my clients are prepared and stay 1 step ahead.



The New York Times Style

On Search Engine Land: Must Read News About Search Marketing & Search … the post “The New York Times, Demand Media Edition” talks about the recent Demand Media IPO:

“Demand Media — widely described as a ‘content farm’ — went public yesterday and quickly racked up a valuation higher than the New York Times. I figured the news might cause some at the New York Times to wonder if they needed to be more Demand Media-like. “

Check out the mockup-pretty accurate for any of us that have ever come across when searching for an answer to a question.  BTW the stock closed over $22 up $5.65 from the open.  Not bad at all.

How To Track Mobile Visitors In Google Analytics

Andrew published a great post that features a Google Analytics tip.  The post “How To Track Mobile Visitors In Google Analytics” contains this nugget:

“If you are a Google Analytics user I recommend setting up an Advanced Segment that filters reports by visitors who are classified as Mobile. Here’s how:


Click on the ‘Advanced Segments’ link on the lower left hand side of the Google Analytics navigation

Click on ‘Create a new custom segment’ at the top of the page

Under the ‘Dimensions’ section click on ‘Visitors’

Drag the green ‘Mobile’ rectangle into the ‘dimension or metrics’ box.

Make sure the ‘Condition’ equals ‘Matches Exactly’ and the ‘Value’ equals ‘Yes’

Name the segment ‘Mobile’, test and save

Now you can view any report in Google Analytics with only mobile user data simply by choosing ‘Mobile’ from the Advanced Segment menu at the top of the page.

Cool Tip: I also like to create a ‘No Mobile’ advanced segment so that I can easily compare the different user behaviors. You can also create similar reports for different phones, mobile browsers and operating systems (e.g. iPhone v. Android)  if you want to really drill down into this data.”

I have some clients that enjoy the Google Analytics experience.  Many choose to use some other advanced tools.  Regardless, if you are using GA this is a great tip.

Google Will Drop Real Estate Search & Listings From Maps – Top SEO …

This was never a popular feature of Maps, however it is a bit of a surprise that they will kill it completely in 2 weeks.  I know a few businesses who benefited from it.

Google Maps will drop its real estate listings search option on February 10th.

Real estate was one of the options available inside Google Maps since July 2009, when it added a similar search form like the ones available on many real estate-specific websites. Google’s real estate search wasn’t as advanced as some of those sites, but offered enough basics for most homebuyers to start the process of finding a new home.

Excerpt from:
Google Will Drop Real Estate Search & Listings From Maps – Top SEO …