How many times have you heard it said in business (or anywhere for that matter) that how you respond to a problem is more important than the problem itself? It’s said over and over again because it’s simply good advice. Well, Google had a chance to practice that principle last night when it began sending out e-mails to those with listings in the Local Business Center.
Starting last night, Google began sending out the monthly (or so) Google Local Business Center updates. The updates go out via email and contain analytical information about how many times a listing was viewed, clicked on, and other miscellaneous analytics. The analytics are a summary of what they would see in their Google LBC analytics dashboard.
But instead of these emails going to their actual business owners, they went to the wrong business owners.
Schwartz received information for a business that was 1,500 mile from his location and he was not the only one having the experience. To Google’s credit they recognized the error and set things straight as quickly as one might expect. The following was sent to Barry so he could help the rest of us get some clarity on the issue. Of course, it doesn’t hurt your ability to get these kinds of responses when you are the News Editor of Search Engine Land. In other words, not everyone received the following explanation right away.
As you’re aware, we send a monthly newsletter to our Local Business Center users, featuring product news and a glimpse at the Dashboard statistics which show the traffic Google properties drive to their listing. Shortly after sending the newsletter to a small portion of our users last night, we discovered that some emails included incorrect business listing information. We promptly stopped sending any further emails and investigated the cause, which we found to be a human error while pulling together the newsletter content. We’d like to sincerely apologize to all the business owners impacted and assure all our users that we’re working hard to ensure that nothing similar will happen again.
Oh no! It appears that there may be a Googler who is, gulp, human and made a mistake. Of course it would never be one of the thousands of faithful servers around the world, it had to be one of those pesky human thingys. All kidding aside, as Schwartz points out, the data is pretty innocuous. It could even be looked at as a sideways form of advertising to a very small market because now people know about a business somewhere else that they never heard of before.
Google later sent an automated reply to all those impacted by this glitch and it appears that all is well in the world again.
While I would rather not have something like this happen I have to give Google credit for calling themselves on the error and working to make it right. Hopefully, any of the business owners who got the wrong data would treat one of their mistakes with the same approach.