Google Places Descriptions Are Back, Baby

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I know I sound like George Costanza when I say that, but I’m excited to announce the return of the Places “Descriptions” that went missing from everybody’s Places page a few weeks ago.

Here are a few of my clients whose Descriptions are back in all their glory.  After all this time, I assume you’d have to see it to believe it:

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Sheridan Eye Care - Davie, FL

Palumbo Landscaping - Forest Lake, MN

The Ice Dam Removal Guys - Minneapolis, MN

Stone Masters, Inc. - Kennett Square, PA

Mountain Lumber Company - Boone, NC

Physical Addiction Fitness Centre - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

My clients are awesome, so the reappearance of their Descriptions is particularly deserved :), but I’ve seen a few others reappear as well.

The only way in which the Descriptions are not totally “back” is that there seems to be a processing delay on Google’s end when you try to update one.  Some of my newest clients’ Descriptions aren’t showing up on their Places pages just yet.  Linda Buquet has reported that there’s a 6-10 week delay in updates (ouch) on Google’s end.  This appears to be right on the money.

What kind of shape is your Google Places “Description” in at this point?  Make my day and leave me a comment!


  1. Hi Phil,
    Our clients that had missing description are all back, except one of the new ones that was activated on July 8th. It’s hard to tell new clients that they need to wait for their description to appear. For this one, we used the “post an update” feature to welcome visitors until the description is up. Hopefully Google will do something about this. Are you telling new clients they will need to wait 6-10 weeks for the description to appear?


    • Hi Susan,
      I feel your pain. There are so many ins-and-outs (even for just the Description) that are tough to describe. Doing “Posts” is a smart move, I’d agree. We used those as a makeshift description, too.

      I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences with the Descriptions, too–namely, whether they only came back a couple of days ago for you, too. (I’m surprised other people/bloggers haven’t been making a big deal out of this!)

  2. Hey Phil,

    Yes, lots of people are pretty excited to get their descriptions back.

    I have a couple Place pages to do today and I’m almost at the point of being afraid to touch a new clients page for fear of what will happen. Will their description go missing? Will they lose any ranking they have and have to start over from ZERO just like a new listing?

    I long for the good old days when I could just enhance a listing and watch the ranking improve immediately. Now you enhance a listing and have to worry about what will disappear and for how long.

    Thanks so much for the mention and link and I just noticed you link to me in the sidebar too, along with the top guys in the biz. What an honor. Thank you!

    • Hey Linda,

      Yeah, Google Places needs all kinds of things, but more red tape isn’t one of them. What I really want to know is what they do at Google during the 6+ weeks that the descriptions just sit in Purgatory?

      I share your pain: I’d love to experiment with a couple of my clients’ descriptions and see how long the changes take to go through, but I’m too scared that their rankings will take a nosedive.

      Not totally sure if your question was rhetorical, but my two-cents is this: changing your Descriptions is like going to the doctor for a shot. If you can avoid it entirely, great. If it’s something unimportant like the flu shot, see how long you can BS the doctor and put it off. If it’s the polio shot, just bite the bullet while they stick you in the arm, and get it over with ASAP.

      If you do try changing the description, I’d love to hear about what happens.

      No problem on the mentions: When I see some new development and consult the Big G to see who else may know about it, I often see that you’re an even earlier bird than I am. The “sitelinks” post and the one about descriptions were two such cases. As for the blogroll, that was a no-brainer! You consistently have excellent stuff, and I believe you’ve linked to me on a couple of occasions.

  3. Ours are back for the most part. We have a couple troublesome ones that are lingering. Not updating the Place Page to allow the posting get approved is our suggestion. Time heals all.

    • @Daniel
      Yep, time will do the trick. As will triple-checking with your clients to make sure everything is 100%, so they don’t say “You know what, I’d like to change this!” and set themselves back even more weeks.

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