Category Archives: Better world

Local Guide Best practice: Choosing a more specific category

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Selecting the correct category for a point of interest (POI) can be challenging. Sometimes there simply is no category label available that perfectly describes the main characteristics of the POI. An example from my own experience is a particular type of vending machine that you find all over the place in Belgium: one where you can buy bread. Some types of vending machines have their own category (such as coffee vending machine and beauty products vending machine), but not this one (probably also because you don’t really find these in any other country) – and neither is there a category label for vending machine in general.

In other cases the difficulty is that different category labels are available for what basically is the same type of POI. So far, no one has been able to explain to me the difference between a DIY-store and a home improvement store. Feel free to leave a comment if you can shed light into the darkness on this one!

Image by stratman² (2 many pix!) on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The issue I want to point in this post, however, is that quite a few points of interest have a category which is not incorrect as such, but also not the best possible one. In almost all cases, the POI then has a general category, where a more specific one is available. Let me give you 2 examples:
* car dealerships: those often have the general car dealer or even garage, but for most popular brands there is a specific category: Ford-dealer, Volkswagen-dealer, Toyota-dealer, etc. (Google doesn’t seem to like French cars, though: Peugeot-dealer and Citroën-dealer are not available)
* sports clubs: these often have the general label sports club, but several popular sports have their own label: football club, tennis club, karate club, etc.

Adding a missing category or replacing the existing one with a more relevant one will bring you 5 points, so you should definitely take this into account when collecting local guides points.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Local Guide Best practice: Correcting pin location

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

On Google maps, the placement of most pins, that indicate where exactly a point of interest (POI) is located, is correct. But there is also a considerable amount of pins which are not placed at best possible location. This can be:
* just a little off (in the middle of the road instead of on the building)
* somewhere more or less near to the POI (a bit further down the street, or at an intersection nearby – this is often the case when no house number was entered, or when the house numbers are quite different on either side of the road, e.g. when house number 100 is across house number 77, with 101 being further down the road)
* completely wrong (can be because a business has moved and the pin location was not adapted, or because a common street name, say Main Street, was used with a wrong ZIP code)

As you might imagine correcting the first type is quite easy, the last one quite hard – the ‘worst case’ I’ve seen myself was over 100 km off.

The best approach (when working in the mobile version) is to open Google maps in satellite view and zoom in until pins start popping up. If you Continue reading

Local Guide ‎Best practice: ALL CAPS / all lowercase

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

There are multiple ways in which names of businesses or other points of interests can be written incorrectly. Sometimes you come across downright typing errors where you can suggest a name correction (‘Architcet’ instead of ‘Architect’ is one I have come across myself a couple of days ago), although you should always carefully check that the ‘awkward’ spelling is not intentional (business owners are sometimes very creative and playful with language).

Another problem frequently popping up is the incorrect use of either ALL CAPS (‘CAFE RIO’ instead of ‘Café Rio’) or all lowercase (‘ann’s fashion’ instead of ‘Ann’s Fashion’). Sometimes this is intended, but often it is not (especially in the case of smaller, local businesses). So the real problem is Continue reading

Local Guide Best practice: Entering Opening hours

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Entering opening hours correctly can be quite challenging the first time you do it, especially if the shop has different opening hours on different days or is closed for lunch on some days and not on others. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to go through an ‘Add hours’ routine for each unique period of uninterrupted hours that the business is open – which can be just for 1 day of the week or for multiple days of the week. A specific example will no doubt make this complex sounding concept more clear. Let’s say a shop is opened on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00, then on Wednesday from 9:00 to 13:30 and finally on Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00. To enter these opening hours, you will need to Continue reading

Google Local Guide

[GENERAL NOTICE]
In the last few months, quite a bit of my time has gone into being a Google Local Guide. In a previous post I already elaborated on this, but off late I have also started posting articles on topics specifically relating to that on Local Guides Connect, the dedicated forum where Local Guides can exchange information and raise questions.

Those articles will now also be published as blog posts here, and for easy access to them, I have even created a dedicated menu item.

Take a look, and who knows… perhaps you will want to become a Local Guide yourself (warning: can get pretty addictive).

Quote of the day #98

“I’m a successful capitalist, but I’m tired of hearing that people like me create jobs. There’s only one thing that creates jobs, and that’s customers. And we’ve been screwing workers so long that they can no longer afford to be our customers.”

Tim O’Reilly summarizing a TED talk
by Nick Hanauer (recommended view!)
in his book WTF (recommended read!)

The “I-already-have-this” button

The other day I was listening to episode 590 of the podcast Six Pixels of Separation, in which the host, marketer Mitch Joel (who is always outstanding in selecting guests for this excellent podcast – and even better in coming up with intelligent and insightful questions), was interviewing PR guru David Meerman Scott. And in their conversation they mentioned having experienced multiple times something that is causing a lot of frustration with both the podcast interviewer, the interviewee and myself, and which is linked to the online marketing technique called retargeting (whereby you seem to be followed around when surfing the internet by online ads from a company whose website you recently visited).

As such this marketing technique is quite successfull, but the aspect of it that Mitch Joel mentioned was referring to exactly the scenario that is causing most of the frustration for me: Continue reading