After all, Google made it easier to specify what problems a listing has, which in theory makes it easier for Google to clean up the local results.
My excitement was premature. In the wee hours last night – when only muggers and cats are awake – I flagged down a Google Places page that belongs to a dentist who’s no longer practicing at that location.
80 minutes later my edit was rejected. It used to take the stiffs at Google a whole day to make a bad decision. I guess on one level I appreciate the speedy verdict.
So I tried another angle – which maybe I should have tried from the get-go. I told them the name of the page isn’t compliant with Google’s new rules (which it isn’t):
Two-and-a-half hours later they rejected the edit. Even though I cited Google’s own guidelines to explain why the name of the listing needed to change.
Sure, Google has made the “Report a Problem” interface nicer, but the real problem remains: Google’s crowdsourcing approach to quality-control has failed. Legitimate edits and reports don’t get approved.
Between Google’s doubling-down on outsourcing “support” and its recent shortening of those call-center hours, there’s little reason to believe Google will get serious about data-quality any time soon.