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If you're familiar with Google Local listings you'll know that when you add an entry for your business or the business you represent, Google checks its listings to see if they already have your business details registered. If it finds a similar address or company name, it asks you if you want to claim the existing listing in order to verify that you are connected with the business already on Google Maps.
This is a great idea and it means that the results pages aren't full of duplicate entries. However, it appears that the comparison engine isn't quite as sophisticated as it should be: I got asked the following question yesterday when I tried to register PSL Hire East Manchester:
Google rather inexplicably informed me that "The listing you entered closely matches the following listings already on Google Maps" and asked me if I wanted to claim the listing for the University of Manchester.
The only similarities between the two entries are the word "Manchester" at the end of the organisational title and the country "United Kingdom". The street address and postcode are totally different and I can only guess that the categories were different as I'd just categorised PSL Hire as being "tool hire" and "DIY".
The map shows that Google understands the locations are about 2 miles from one another which proves that they understand geographically where the addresses are but as the Google algorithm changes to place more emphasis on local listings, it does raise questions about how much Google really understands the relationship between organisations and addresses.
Any members of the SEO community reading will be glad to know that I behaved responsibly and clicked "Add Listing" although it was very tempting to claim the University of Manchester for tool hire!