Traveling has never been easier than it is now, with technology to save you from every possible mishap along the ways. From planning to your actual travel and until you get back home, you can do your research online without even requiring the services of a professional travel agent. You can book your plane flight online, or perhaps a cruise ship tour, a train ride, etc., you can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your smart gadget. Even booking your hotel or Airbnb accommodation can be done in a snap. As a result, you get to save lots of money you can spend on something else.
One of the most popular travel buddies right now is Google Maps since you can easily travel foreign countries with its help. Wherever you are in the world, you can count on Google Maps to help you get to your destination in the fastest and safest manner. This web-mapping service offered by no other than Google makes way for faster and easier navigation. It features streets maps, satellite imagery, and even 360° panoramic view of streets so you know exactly what to look for when you get to your destination.
Perhaps more than any other innovation-in-your-pocket, Google Maps has changed the way people travel. As long as you’re connected to the Internet (and, with a little forethought, even if you aren’t) you can’t get lost anywhere, and loads of people use the review feature to find bars, restaurants, or shops to explore. But what happens when you zoom out—like waaay out? Well, the feature still works, even on the continental level. That’s right, you can review and rate all 17.2 million square miles of Asia, if you please. And plenty of people have. Here are some of the most entertaining reviews of all seven continents.
Google maps first came to be as a tool to help people navigate the world especially busy city streets and even the suburbs to rural areas. But today, you can even review oceans and continents with its help.
You can find virtually anything on Google, and it appears that now includes reviews for Earth’s continents and oceans.
Ever wondered what the internet thinks about the entire continent of Europe? North America? What about the Atlantic Ocean?
Well if you look up these locations on Google Maps you can now find some helpful reviews and star ratings. I use the term “helpful” somewhat loosely, because users are having more fun with this bizarre feature than anything.
However, the threat of coming across fake businesses and get scammed is possible as the discovery was made that Google Maps contain fake listings. Although the number is not that high, there is still a slim possibility that you end up with these fake listings and get hurt or scammed in the process. Why does Google allow this thing to happen, if indeed proven true?
Google announced last week that they had recently conducted a study to research the actors behind fake listings on Google Maps.
The study points out that “geographic proximity is the coin of the emerging localized-search realm,” which matches what I observed with the Possum update in 2016. This major algorithm update was responsible for making proximity to the searcher the #1 ranking factor for local search. This drives up the incentive for companies to create fake listings, since they need more “locations” in order to monopolize the search results and maximize exposure.
There were some things I saw in the study that were very helpful to know:
- Most of the listings that got suspended were in India and the United States (74 percent of all the listings observed in this study).
- 40.3 percent of the listings were in industries that are on-call, like plumbers, locksmiths and electricians.
- 54 percent of the suspensions in the United States were in the following six states: California, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois and New Jersey, while these states only account for 39.9 percent of the population.
The study also looked at listings that were suspended due to marketing companies abusing the verification process and obtaining ownership of the listing without the consent of the business owner. This happens a lot in the restaurant industry, where marketing companies will create a copy of the business website and put a booking/ordering link on it, then charge the business owner for all orders placed via their system. They then take ownership of the listing via Google My Business, and the business owner is stuck paying for transactions from any customer finding their local listing on Google.
The statistics from this research is somewhat dubious considering Google only looked at suspended listings and haven’t gotten to the bottom of it yet. The best thing one can do is exercise extra caution when using Google Maps especially when looking up a particular restaurant since most fake listings concentrated on this industry. But this is a serious concern that Google need to look into deeper along with representatives from the restaurant business who are often the victim here. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and not expose us to unnecessary threats we are not yet ready to deal with. Knowing Google, they will do their best to settle this issue once and for all and bring back the lost trust of the people that were already affected.
Meanwhile, you can still rely on good old Google map to take you places without the fear of every getting lost again. Go to uncharted places and discover new towns and cities you’ve only heard about in books or seen on TV. Experience life first hand and reward yourself with the gift of travel and all those memorable experiences that will last you a lifetime.
Traveling Made Easy With Google Maps is republished from All Systems Go Marketing