We’ve been watching the development of the Google Knowledge Graph for the past few years to understand how we can best leverage your digital dollars to engage as many local shoppers as possible. When we published Mind the Google in 2015, we were noticing slight traffic decreases at some property websites, and, as we discuss in the paper, Google is mining your sites and publishing information in its search results and in Google maps. So for consumers looking for your hours, they no longer need to go to your website to get them as Google is providing them in their “Google Info Panel.”
The main challenge is that Google does not necessarily rely upon just your site to publish information about your property. And while it makes total sense that they would indeed rely upon www.shopcherrycreek.com to be the true source of accurate information on Cherry Creek Mall, it doesn’t work that way. Google actually goes out and samples all the information it can find about your property – including photos – from many different sources, and then weighs what it thinks is the best answer. Sometimes it's right, sometimes its wrong. And during key shopping seasons, when your hours change, it's even more likely to be wrong (see the image above; The Shoppes at Webb Gin was actually open at the time of this screenshot).
Now nobody wants shoppers showing up at 10pm when the mall closed at 9pm! Not even Google wants that. And while we’d like Google to just send everyone over to your site and get the hours straight from the horse’s mouth, that’s not going to happen either. And its not just hours that get mixed up. We’ve seen malls listed as “Closed” when just one a single tenant closes shop.
To make sure that search engine results are presenting the right information about your property, PlaceWise is launching Local Listings, a new service that is integrated with leading directory publishers that supply this information to Google. With PlaceWise's Local Listings, the hours, photos, and other location information listed in Google for your center will update whenever you update them in RetailHub, ensuring that your center's information is always current. Ask your Account Manager about our upcoming Local Listing Service and set the record straight about your center!