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Google Maps VP Carter Maslan im Interview zu „Nearby places“

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Interview mit Google VP zu „Nearby places“ auf den Google place pages

Gestern berichteten wir hier im Blog zu dem neuen Feature „Nearby places you might like„, in dessen Rahmen nun auf den Google place pages auch eine Linkliste zu direkten Konkurrenten eingeblendet wird.

Auf Mike Blumenthals Blog ist nun als Reaktion darauf ein sehr interessantes Interview mit Carter Maslan, VP of Product Development bei Google Maps erschienen.

Der Umfang des Interviews ist beachtlich, die Fragen sind sehr konstruktiv und Mike scheut auch nicht davor zurück direkte Kritik an Googles Produktpolitik im Rahmen von Google Maps und dem Lokalen Branchencenter zu üben.

Überraschenderweise weicht Carter Maslan diesen Fragen nicht aus, sondern versucht im Gegenteil für Google ungewöhnlich exakte Aussagen zu treffen und sogar Fehler einzuräumen…

Hier ein kurzer Auszug aus dem Interview:

MB: The message from Google to SMB’s about their Places Pages has, with the exception of your inclusion of ads last year, been that it can be used as a landing page. This certainly seems to contradict that. Would you position the Places Pages for SMBs so that they can understand your intentions with the page?

CM: Our intent for Place Pages is to show the most useful search results for any given place. For local businesses that want to engage with the people searching for them, Place Pages are search result pages that help businesses ensure accuracy of core listing information and gain insights into the ways people find them.

MB: If it isn’t a Landing Page over which they have reasonable control, what would incent an SMB to claim and control their listing?

CM: The primary reasons to claim your listing are a) ensure the accuracy of the core listing data, b) get insights into how and when people are finding you even before they arrive at your site/doorstep, and c) engage with the people searching for you by posting updates, photos, videos, etc.

MB: It would seem that the Places Pages have two constituencies, the consumer and the SMB. We know that you always doing user-acceptance testing. Are you doing it with SMBs, as well as consumers?

CM: We want both consumers and businesses to find the results useful in engaging with each other. While the implication is that this feature puts the interests of consumer and business at odds, owners often realize quickly that the Web of connections among places and people is both inbound and outbound.

MB: The Places Pages are becoming more Yellow Page like. Will you be selling placement in the nearby links and if so, for how much?

CM: Places Pages are all about helping users find and discover the most relevant information for any place. We have no plans to monetize the nearby places feature at this time. I’d also like to mention that, as always, any ads on the Place Pages will be clearly labeled as such.

MB: I have in the past, and in this instance, accused you of being somewhat tone deaf to the needs of SMBs. Obviously you are soon to be targeting them for additional ad revenue. How would you respond to my criticism?

CM: We’re listening to the SMB desire for more customers and more business with those customers. In this case, there’s already a connected Web of people, places and information in the real world. Embracing that network with a strong, accurate online presence is a good thing for business owners, and this is a great new tool that offers access to insights that were previously unavailable.

Google places pages: Nutzerinteressen VS. Geschäftsinteressen

Es wird deutlich, dass sich das Google Maps Team seiner Diskrepanz im Zusammenhang mit den Google place pages im Branchencenter bewußt ist:

Einerseits möchte man den Nutzern das bestmögliche Sucherlebnis ermöglichen und dabei die perfekten Suchtreffer abliefern – andererseits liegt im Bereich der lokalen Suche einfach zu viel Geld auf der Straße, als das Google hier eine immense Umsatzquelle einfach so links liegen lassen würde, weshalb die Aussage „We have no plans to monetize the nearby places feature at this time.“ schlicht unglaubwürdig klingt – Google ist schließlich kein Charity-Unternehmen!

Zu diesem Thema lesenswert:
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