Since Mid February the reporting behind Google’s local business listings, Google Places, has not been updated. Business owners who rely on the data to understand local search insights and the effectiveness of content optimisation on their listings have been left without any means to track these increasingly important local search tools. Fortunately, the reporting has returned. Will it happen again?

The Impact of No Google Places Statistics

There’s no easy way to determine if this gap in reporting service from Google will be repeated in future but the impact could be increasingly damaging to businesses who have become more reliant on local SEO which places them at the top of relevant search results.

Businesses are Increasingly Reliant on SEO Data

Certainly had this been Google analytics and not Google places suffering an outage there may well have been a significant backlash to Google from business owners and as Google Places becomes an integral part of SEO, Google may find that this failure to deliver reporting could be something that damages their brand.

Of course, whilst users still ‘Google’ for everything they need, and increasingly so on mobile, business owners have no real choice other that to lobby on Google’s forums when such instances of lack of service are repeated.