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Local Guides & Google Map Maker – How to Make Edits if Google Map Maker is Closing?

In March 2017 Google Map Maker will officially be shut down, and some of its features integrated directly into Google Maps – what features you ask, we still aren’t 100% sure. Unfortunately, for business owners, power users, and marketing agencies, Google Maps Maker has been an extremely effective tool at remedying underlying issues with businesses local SEO. Items like incorrect listing information (phone number, address, categories), anonymous ‘fake’ edits and duplicate listings are all items that could be fixed with Google Map Maker. Joy Hawkins (a top contributor on the Google Maps Forum) wrote a great breakdown of this, and the potential issues with the merger here.

This seems to be par for the course, as it’s taken Google’s engineering team over 7 years to transition from Google Places, to Google Local, to Google+ Local, to finally … Google My Business. They’ve dabbled with all sorts of support mechanisms, and in March of 2013, they began offering phone support which has been great, though the transition from a U.S based support team to India hasn’t been ideal as the communication and customer service has dropped substantially.

How to Make Edits in 2017

So, with Google Map Maker closing in March of 2017 … how can you effectively make edits?

Traditionally, the hierarchy for our team to address issues with Google Maps has been:

  1. Login to Google My Business and see if you can make an edit in the back end. Wait 7 days and see if it’s been fixed.
  2. Use Google Map Maker and make your edits, and wait for Google’s moderated approval.
  3. Use the Google Map Maker Forum, to submit an edit, and ask one of the top contributors to review the edit and publish for accuracy (this looks to be merging into the new Local Guides Google My Business Forum, but not 100% sure what’s shakin).
  4. Use Google My Business’s phone support to talk to someone directly at Google and have your edits reviewed by a human.

In our experiences, using Google Map Maker has been the most effective, so we’ll see what happens after March. Currently, steps 2 and 3 are working, but after March, you’ll need to use the Google My Business Forum, or make the edits directly in Google Maps as seen below:

After March, I’d recommend the following steps:

  1. Login to Google My Business and see if you can make an edit in the back end. Wait 7 days and see if it’s been fixed.
  2. Make the edits directly in Google Maps using the ‘Suggest an edit
  3. If that still doesn’t fix it, try submitting a thread in the new Google My Business Forum
  4. Use Google My Business’s phone support to talk to someone directly at Google and have your edits reviewed by a human. It appears they keep making this feature trickier to find, and unfortunately you aren’t able to call them, they have to call you after you input your information. I wouldn’t be surprised if this feature gets removed soon

**Update 2017-02-01 – Mike Blumenthal did a good write up on the lack of phone support here**

What About Google Local Guides?

This has been in the works for over a year or so, and basically the premise is individual users can earn points and unlock rewards for submitting edits, reviews and other information to Google Maps.

Google Local Guides

They have a few different levels (I’m a level 3!) and levels are determined by the number of points you’ve earned. You receive 1 point for every place you review, photograph, add, edit, or provide additional information for on Google Maps. You can earn up to 5 points per place and unlock benefits along the way … though this doesn’t seem to have any bearing on how likely one of your ‘edits’ is to get approved.

If you’ve found a better way of making edits, or have another suggestion at what you’re going to do in 2017 leave a comment and let us know!


  • Kelvin

    How about editing and adding roads… Seems google maps will add that feature

    • Hi Kelvin, hopefully, but the interface is likely going to be different, and harder to get edits approved. Only time will tell!