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I’m a big fan of Google Maps and Google Local Business Centre, but they really appear to have created a bit of a mess by combining the 2 together too closely.

The early idea of Google Maps was that people could create their own maps or add information to existing maps. This meant if you wanted to add a local pub, restaurant, hotel, entertainment centre, etc. to a map and write a review of the place it was perfectly acceptable (even actively encouraged).

Now that Google Local Business has been combined in with Google Maps the guidelines for adding a location via the local business centre system are completely different to adding a location via Google Maps.

Say for instance I add some information about a small local restaurant, I sign in to my Google account, add the place to the map, write a review, and think no more about it.

12 months down the road the owner of the business checks in google local and sees his restaurant listed, he isn’t happy about this, complains to google, and because I added the listing they may say it is against the business centre guidelines, despite the fact it isn’t against the Google Maps guidelines and is actively encouraged.