11

Last week, Google rolled out a new feature on Google mobile search that presumably added convenience to the consumer by providing a "Place an Order" link on individual restaurant business listings. The announcement of this feature was made by Jade W here: Google Product Forums: Place an order from Google Search.

While this may be mildly convenient to a restaurant consumer, it is a considerably different situation for the restaurants, who have absolutely no control over where this "Place an Order" link directs to. These link direct customers to hub pages that cost restaurants around 15-25% commission per order. Many restaurants work with less predatory, non-hub partners who offer a more affordable solution and integrate it with their primary website. Of course they are forced to stay with the hubs because they cannot risk losing business from the loyal consumers of those hubs. This does NOT mean that restaurants are happy to have Google redirect traffic away from the affordable channel (their own website) to the expensive channels (the hubs) using the restaurants very own web presence/business listing.

We are an agency that manages hundreds of restaurants web listings and we have already received dozens of complaints from restaurants who falsely believe we are responsible for these new action links.

While I'd love to get into the exploitative business nature of this feature, the more outrageous issue at this point is the fact that Jade W clearly states in her announcement that restaurants can request removal of this new action link ("Merchants can reach out to our merchant support (HC link) and our support staff will assist in removing the action link from their business listing."). However, we've reached out to support several times now, and nobody seems to have the slightest clue what were talking about. They can’t even figure out how to view the “Place an Order” link I’m referring to - I actually had to send a screenshot of the link to the last support rep I spoke with because they didn't understand what I meant by "mobile".

Is anyone aware of a reliable channel in which we can speak to a competent support agent at Google?

  • 1
    Sounds like an intended change... technical assistance is least of your problems, Unless you spend millions through adwords campaigns its extremely unlikely that you will be able to speak to anyone with an influence who can actually roll out changes such as this. Your best bet would be contacting them through Webmaster Tools and hope for the best. – Simon Hayter May 13 '15 at 17:00
  • 1
    I am not sure where specifically to post this, but some Google forums are monitored by Google personnel that would at least point out the issue even if you do not get a response. One Google engineer does participate in this site and perhaps word will get to the right place as a result of this post. You can possibly participate in one of the Google "hang-outs" and raise this question. Google is interested in doing the right thing it seems even though your experience does not reflect this. – closetnoc May 13 '15 at 23:36
  • 1
    One of the best things we can do here is up-vote the question and give it attention. I will do my part and ask anyone who agrees with me to do the same. – closetnoc May 13 '15 at 23:41
2

Once you have clicked that Google Support link, select:

  • Business information and edits
  • Other problem
  • Email

This will put you in touch with a specialist from the Google My Business team who manage business listings on Google Search. And then from there specify in your email message the list of businesses for which you need the action links removing and it may be worth explaining to them why they are being removed.

Unfortunately unless the business listings for your customers are setup and managed from within your Google account, it is likely they will not take any action unless they hear directly from the business owners or the account holder who originally setup the business listings, therefore if they're not managed from your account, the first step to resolving this might be to try and get control of the business listings under your agency's Google account.

They have so many products, services and teams that it may really help you to use Google's terminology when trying to explain your issue. What you're asking for is to have "Place an Order" links removed from restaurant local business listings on Google Search Mobile.

  • Thanks for the answer. We gave this a shot and are awaiting a reply. – zachzurn May 21 '15 at 1:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.