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Request - Mulitple Contexts & Multiple Locations for a Context Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Originally Posted by Lizard View Post
We're currently using Google's Places API, which as you noted, doesn't completely match up with Google's web browser results. I'm not sure if there's a way to directly access Places results via a web browser to do your own testing.
That should be a good enough start to do some data mining. My biggest question was that of search parameters. Something I can answer on my own, but feel free to add to as well, does the Google Places API allow the same search modifiers as Google's normal search?

I'll see what I can find out and go from there. I assume it does, and if so that'll aid in our ability to tweak the search results that we are getting.
Originally Posted by Lizard View Post
Go ahead and send them to, and put something about "map testing data" in the subject line.

We're currently using Google's Places API, which as you noted, doesn't completely match up with Google's web browser results. I'm not sure if there's a way to directly access Places results via a web browser to do your own testing.

Been digging around in the Google Places API and it seems to be almost contradictory to what we are asking for from OmniFocus location searches. Google's new Places API seems to be doing too much of the work for us and via it's own specific ordering of results.

Found a few articles regarding how Google Places works and it seems to place a lot of the onus on the business to make sure they're a part of Google Places (instead of scraping the Interwebs for addresses, locations, etc as we would expect). In short it's more like Yelp, Google style.

The best example I found of this comes from Andrew Shotland at Search Engine Land:

Top 3 Factors To Improve Ranking For Pages In Integrated Results
  • Places page category matches a broader category than that of the search (search for “pizza”, Places category = restaurant). This only applies of course if there is a broader category. This applies for both primary and secondary Places page categories.
  • The search category appears in the business name (“Rocky’s Pizza” for a “Seattle pizza” search).
  • The search category appears in the “at a glance” section.

Top 5 Factors To Improve Ranking For Pages Not In Integrated Results
  • Having 5 or more Google reviews.
  • Location term in “at a glance” section. (Seattle in “Seattle pizza”)
  • Category term in Google review content. (pizza in “Seattle pizza” is in the contents of the Google reviews)
  • Category term in business description.
  • Category term in “at a glance.”

Google is prioritizing the search results via their own agenda, not ours.

Perhaps a better way for us to conduct these searches would be to allow one or all of the following:

[1] Ideal: an option to select which service we'd like to use (Yelp, Google Maps, Google Places, Google Search, etc)

[2] Have the OmniFocus staff test results from various services to see where the "best" default results come from

[3] Use a "straight Google search" to allow us on the user's end to customize our search results with standard web search syntax (OR, "quotes", etc)

Currently, search syntax doesn't work because Google Places doesn't parse like a standard search. We're hamstrung!

Merely more suggestions. Thanks again for the review of them.

Last edited by bemental; 2012-10-24 at 11:40 AM..
I'm struggling myself with Business Search off the iPhone. It works great in some cases, but in others the results make no sense. For example, near my house are several mainline and specialty supermarkets. When I just put in Grocery or Supermarket I get one wholesale African foods place. Instead I had to go very specific and search on "Grocery AND (Cub OR Aldi OR Trader Joe's OR Festival OR Rainbow)" to get it showing what I wanted. Not perfect as there are many others that would also work, but since the broader category only showed a single not useful choice, I was forced down this path. I'd love to hear other suggestions on how to get more hits on a broader category.
Closing this thread (and similar ones in the other OmniFocus forums) in favor of the consolidated thread for this topic.

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