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The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello!

 

I'm with Austin B-cycle, the bike share program in Austin, TX. I have been able to list a lot of our stations on google maps, but waiting on approval can take months - as well as sometimes won't be recognized and is very difficult when we have stations move to other locations.

I'm having trouble adding our station locations, as we have 50 stations around town - these stations do not have an address I can send mail to in order to verify.

Because we're a transit option, getting all of our stations with correct info and addresses is very important so people can use google maps to route their ride.

 

I've been able to verify 1 station by having it list our office address - then changing the address once the verification letter was delivered here. This seems like something I can't do for all 50 of our stations.

We're a confusing business for google because we have our office location, and hours that are separate from our station locations, hours and service area.

 

What's the best way for me to get our situation under my control?

 

Thanks for the help!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Tim W

 

I don't believe these are eligible for a business page, they are rather MapMaker entries as you have been making.

 

However claiming these, then changing the address is against GMB guidelines.

 

Let me double check with GMB about eligibility. If you are then I would recommend using bulk management.

 

This is managed via spreadsheet upload

 

 



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ☆

An alternative option would be to embed a custom Google map on your website. It might look a little intense at first if getting your hands dirty with a little code sounds intimidating, but Google's tutorial is detailed enough you should be able to get it up and running with a little patience. You could also hire a developer with some experience in Google Maps API, what you're talking about is a really small project and should be affordable. The cool thing about doing it this way, once you're up and running you could easily update and maintain the map just by editing the data-source. Then you could point your users towards your home page or something, and tell them to find the nearest location using the interactive map. Ultimately this is probably a better solution for usability than getting everything on Google My Business, just because users will only see some of the locations if they're on maps. Even if Tim comes back with the green light, I still think your users would be better off with a custom map on the website you point people towards. 

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Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Great Idea there James



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi James,

So we already do have a custom map (and app) on our site that we point people to, unfortunately because of the nature of our business the majority of our customers want to treat our system like they would when searching for a bus, or car route and don't think to go to our site or want to make the extra steps.

A lot of the problem is with the clunkiness of MapMaker editing and the approval hierarchy. My thought was if we we're somehow able to get all of our stations up on GMB we'd have many more options for keeping them up to date with station closures and additions.

Thanks for your feedback though!

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Participant ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
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For sure. We'll see what Tim says then, he's right that if your'e allowed at all, the bulk management tool is what you want to be using. 

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Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Bulk Management is super simple:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QFLKrsGNEQP6y8uJ_913g6i3jivRwXPrApKmp60tTSE/edit#gid=0

https://support.google.com/business/answer/3217744



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi @Tim W

 

Ok I have just heard back.

 

"Technically, they should be allowed under the same circumstances as something like an ATM (as long as they have a way for users to contact the business on the kiosk)"

 

And you would need to use bulk verification



Tim Capper, Google My Business Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

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Tim operates a bespoke Local SEO Consultancy in the UK, Online Ownership

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This is great, Tim. Thanks so much for figuring it out.

I'll be trying to set up the bulk tool today.

Best,

Re: The Struggle of listing Bike Share Stations on Google!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hey Tim,

SO every thing was going well - up uploaded my list, tried to verify it and it told me I had errors. I went ahead and fixed every error, but it's still still saying I have errors in the general part - yet none of my locations actually have errors.

Also - is there a way to put in 24 hours as an option instead of 12am-12am?