I’ve had a couple of inquiries on how the Google Integration works and why a business might not show up.
First, the platform uses Google Business Listings, not Google Search Engine or Google Maps. This is an important distinction because, while related, they are not the same. A business can be in one but not the other.
Google Business Listings are controlled by Google, not us or Second Street (the company that manages the platform). Luckily, it is easy (and free) for a company to fix if they are not being listed. They simply need to go to Google My Business. So if you don’t see something listed, you may want to let them know so they can fix it. If you have attempted to fix this, and your business is still not showing, check out Can’t find business on Google. If you still have problems, Google My Business has a support option.
Addresses are important to Google, but they don’t require you to display them. If you have a business that doesn’t have an “office” that is open to the public, your instinct might be not to list the address. However, Google uses your business location to help determine when to recommend it. They assume people want a business close to them (rather than one that is 1000 miles away). And you can include your address without making it public. Rather than explain it here, there is a great explaination on Smallbusiness.chron.com.
All of this is designed to help you locate businesses near your location. So when entering in names, Google will look for the closest match nearest to your location. It then uses an algorithim to make its best guess as what business you are looking for. But, of course, this is not perfect.
Please remember, you are NOT required to select a company from the Google listings in order to nominate it.
It is designed to help us know exactly who you are nominating. For some businesses, identification isn’t a problem. There’s only one Harrisburg Magazine, for example. But that’s not always the case. For example, if you wanted to nominate Burger King for Best Onion Rings, it would be important to know which Burger King on Front Street or the one on 4th Avenue because they have different franchise owners. (For the record, I made up the category and the addresses for this example. However, I do love their onion rings.)
Also, the search is looking at the business name and location. If you type in “Restaurant” it will likely recommend “Restaurant Depot” than “Burger King” or some other restaurant.
There is a month before the voting begins is to give us time to go through the nominations and verify. It is our goal is to make sure your votes count toward the right business.
Simply the Best has a lengthy tradition in Harrisburg that we are proud of and respect here at Harrisburg Magazine. We hope these changes make it easier for you and improve the competition.
Finally, if you have any concerns, feel free to send me an email.