Google in Sub-Saharan Africa: More business listings for Google Maps

Google Maps continues to help you explore the world. Whether you’re in an unfamiliar town or uncovering new local favorites, Google Maps helps you find top places to eat, shop, play and more.

It’s with this in mind that we’ve been working to make information on Google Maps about businesses in Africa more comprehensive and accurate. We’ve done a project which we called ‘Footprint’ – an effort to verify and improve existing business information, correct inaccurate listings, and create listings for new businesses. 

Over the last two years we’ve added >200,000 business listings to Google Maps in Lagos (Nigeria) & Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi, Kisumu and Eldoret (Kenya). The business listings can now be found on Google Maps, Search and Google+. This should mean that you can more easily find businesses you’re looking for, and that businesses find it easier to have a presence on the web.

We work with local partners in each country to assemble a team that walks along public streets and other publicly accessible areas such as shopping malls. These walkers each carry a phone, which they use to collect information about businesses. The walkers approach the business owner or manager and ask their permission to collect the relevant information.

The information we collect includes name, address, phone number and working hours of a business, as well as its precise location. Also, we take photos of the storefront and the inside of the business. This information is then updated on Google Maps within a few days.

The Footprint project is currently rolling out in South Africa. Our local partner, Direct Channel Holdings, will collect the business information. It’ll be happening in Johannesburg from March to July 2015 and in Cape Town and Bloemfontein in April and May 2015.

If you’re a business owner, please note that the contracted personnel will carry Google verified documentation authorizing them to carry out this activity. You may be able to go a step further and claim your listing through our Google My Business portal. Through Google My Business, you can:
Update your business information

– Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique

– Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page

– Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews

– Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights

– Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app

Source: Google Maps

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