We claim business listings as part of our marketing packages. We generally point the listings to the client's pages on our websites as they have all the contact information for the business.
We recently found a handful of listings which appear to have been editted by someone. New phone numbers added, descriptions changed, new categories added, photos and videos added, and website addresses changed (changed from our pages to the client's website).
I know no one else in our company or anywhere else has access to the places account I use for these listings so I'm wondering how the changes are happening? So far the owners of the businesses are saying they haven't made changes. Nor do they even know how too were they so inclined.
At first I thought perhaps it was google somehow merging duplicate listings but in all cases only 1 places listing (the one I claimed or created) exists.
Also, the description changes aren't consistent either. I've found one using part of a meta description, one using the description off a directory and one where i can't find a source of the text (I searched for the sentence wrapped in quotes and there was no matching result). It's as if someone added a completely unique sentence to the listing.
So it seems as if someone in Google is going in and making manual edits to places pages. Has anyone else noticed this?
I found an entry in the Google help section for places - it was kinda buried. It said that occasionally google will make changes on their own to "improve" the listing.
So I went in yesterday and made a small change to 1 listing's description and everything reverted back to our info. It has the description I originally submitted (plus the change) and the URL I submitted - other additions - pictures and video - are still there as well.