A common concern for many Internet users is that giants like Google know too much about them. This is a valid concern, but recently I ran into the opposite problem — Google didn’t know enough about me.
Specifically Google didn’t think that my address existed. This may sound like a small problem, but I assure you, it can be a major issue.
We first realized something was amiss with Google and our address when the home inspector couldn’t find the house with Google Maps. This wasn’t a major concern, but it was odd given that the street and home are more than 7 years old.
When you zoomed in on our address, no streets were listed, though with satellite view enabled, you could clearly see houses and streets. Bing knew where we lived the whole time, but this didn’t help us out too much.
What Happens When Google Doesn’t Know Where You Live
It wasn’t until after we moved in that we started to really understand what it means to be left off of Google Maps.
Shortly after we moved in friends and family wanted to stop over to see the house, but no one could find us on their smartphones. In the past month I have given more over the phone directions than I have in the last 5 years. We also had issues with getting some home repairs accomplished, because drivers had trouble locating the address.
Eventually I found that Google would direct people to within viewing distance if I told them to enter a nearby street as their destination. This worked for family, friends and repairmen we could talk to, but wasn’t a permanent solution.
The biggest issue came when we wanted to order pizza, something we did quite often while in the upheaval of moving. Because our address doesn’t exist in Google, and Donatos uses Google maps to power their online ordering system we couldn’t place orders online.
Not only does this mean more time spent ordering on the phone, it actually cost me about $20 in discounts that are only available online.
How To Fix Google Maps Errors
Thankfully, there is an easy way to fix a Google Maps issue. You need to go to that spot on the map and choose report a problem. From here, you drag a yellow marker to the area with an issue, and tell Google what is wrong.
You can report issues with the street, an address, satellite imagery or choose other to handle any problem you see.
Describe the problem in as much detail as possible, so that Google can investigate. If you are signed in, you can get an email notification when your problem is addressed. This also allows Google to followup with questions.
After a few days Google emailed to say that I was correct and that they would work to fix the problem. Within a week of that date my address, and the surrounding streets, were appropriately marked in Google Maps. Now friends and family can find me without a host of turn left, turn right, look for this landmark directions.
Sadly, Donatos has not updated their maps so I still can’t place orders online.