Here’s how to see impressions for anyone’s Google Maps listing.

Make an edit. Open your Local Guide profile. Go to your edits tab. That’s it.

Obviously for this to work you would have to be a local guide with some history and success in editing maps listings. Other than that it’s as straightforward as described above.

I’ve stumbled across this feature during the course of my regular contribution history as a local guide and was surprised to see the impressions visible in my edits tab for many of the places I’ve successfully edited.

Google Maps Impressions

Here’s impression data for a local airport.

What types of edits work?

  • Place Creation
  • Map Marker Correction
  • Adding Website
  • Updating Website
  • Correcting Place Name

All of the above types of edits have resulted in displaying place impression data.

What did I learn?

As an active local guide I edit numerous listings every year. Fixing spammy keyword loaded names, turning them into actual business names, fixing website addresses that lead to 404 pages, place markers that drive people in the middle of a highway. That sort of thing. Some of them were in digital marketing space so I filtered them out and observed the data. I’m not going around messing up peoples listings just so I can see their data.

I did notice something super-dodgy though. The top two listings completely eclipse the stats of all other agencies in Brisbane. In fact, above you can see the same list without the top two players who are the biggest and most consistent performers in Google Maps, there’s just one problem. There’s no way these impressions are organic, there simply isn’t any search volume to justify the views.

My conclusion is that unless the two businesses in question get triggered by some random, super popular term they’re manipulating their impressions and if I dare speculate clicks as well through artificial means (bots, clickfarms…etc) and amazingly it appears to be working in their favour.

Note that my sample is incomplete and not every digital marketing agency has been observed in the above list. The reason for this is that I never edit a place unless there’s a good reason for edit.

How reliable is the impression data?

I’ve been able to verify four listings against the verified owner data and they closely match the impressions for the maximum available reporting period in Google My Business reports.

3 Points