The Synchrony GMB Problem
We recently discovered that anyone searching for our address or contact details by typing 'syncrony' into the Google search box, would fail to find us on the first page of search results. The reason for this was because Google automatically assumed that the searcher had typed an spelling mistake into the search box and was looking for Synchrony and not Syncrony.
Google would respond by first assuming the spelling error instead of checking listing results locally against the initially provided search term. Thus Google's spelling correction algorithm was applied before its geolocation check kicked in, producing a result like this:
We set out to discover why Google thought it appropriate to show a New York based bank in favour of a local web company that has been in business in Johannesburg for almost 20-years.
To see how the our research panned out and for a better understanding of the fixes we deployed to try to solve this issue, go to the local version of Synchrony we developed.
Our mission is simple, all we want is for anyone who lives in South Africa (especially the Gauteng region) who searches for our company by name on the web to be able to find our details without having to click a link confirming that they did indeed spell our company name correctly.
This by no means the end of the saga. We will watch and learn from the results.