PUT YOURSELF ON THE MAP

Yelp.com is hugely popular for opinions, whether good or bad, about U.S. businesses. But they’ve gotten some bad press recently because a couple reporters found you can have bad ratings removed if you buy one of their ads.  This is not good for honest information. Yelp is still worth looking at, but use judgment when evaluating what you find.

But now that we’re speaking of finding … you can put your own business on a Google map. To do this, go to google.com/local/add for a free listing. Then add a description, a website, store hours, a photo and video to your address. You’re then literally on the map. When someone looks at that address, they see your business information.

You can edit that information if things change. Our newspaper column was listed as a “computer store,” for example, at an old address of ours. We’ve never had a computer store, but someone else did have a business there. To fix errors like that, click on the “more” link and then on “edit details.” Type in the new information. To keep people from making malicious changes, Google calls you – you have to provide contact information – to verify it’s really you. If they can’t verify the change, no change is made. We were called in less than a minute.

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