Google Places: The contexts in the English language

Bad is a word that is used in many contexts in the English language. It can mean anything from terrible to awesome used by iteslf and there are many phrases that integrate the word for totally different meaning altogether. Bad boy, bad ass and a bad taste to note a few. This is particularly true with hair. A “bad hair day” for example has been elevated to the level of cliche for getting the day off on the wrong foot.

Bad hair salon NY search

Now add to this linguistic mishegas the fact that Google is possibly doing keyword to category mapping.

In this process Google is apparently indexing keywords associated with a citation, mapping those keyword to their appropriate category and if there is enough searcher intent, showing 7-Pack or Blended results on those adhoc keyword related categories.

In the hair salon business this combination of linguistic “nuances” and keyword mapping leads to unintended outcomes. If you search on Bad Hair Salon NY, NY, which is unambiguous for most of us, it shows a seven pack and a ton of salons in Manhatten that are “bad”.

In that pack, I chose the first highly rated salon on that search, the Salon V, a 4.5 star rated establishment, to see exactly why it was so “bad”, why it showed in the results….When you further refine the search “Salon V” Bad hair NYC you see the types of ambiguous statements showing in the search results that may have lead to the results:

After 2 “bad hair” days I was ready to give up b. ..

I ended up running back to Salon V to correct a very bad highlight job.  I’ve had my haircut at many places in NYC, LA, and SF, but Salon V is definetly the best. 

THANKYOU CAROLEENA AT SALON V!!!!! So….I’ve had multiple bad hair salon …. A gem in NYC! Hawaii lost one of its treasures when Vernelle moved away a few 

Salon V of Fairfield, CT – Take advantage of the quality services, convenient location  went to Salon V for the first time (after several bad cuts at another salon) and I got a 

The take aways?

Review content, whether via Google’s keyword to category mapping or some other mechanism, can influence search results.

Monitoring search results for these types of negative top ranking search results in your market is probably worthwhile. This certainly opens up new areas for defensive reputation management of your listing and business.

More Payment Options in Android Market

[This post is by Eric Chu, Android Developer Ecosystem. —Dirk Dougherty]

A key to a great purchasing experience is providing users with simple and fast payment methods. The Android Market team has been working hard to deliver more forms of payment to further reduce purchase friction.

Today, I am pleased to announce the availability of AT&T Direct Carrier Billing for Android users on the AT&T network. AT&T Android users can now easily charge their Android Market purchases to their monthly accounts with only a few clicks. With the combination of Android Market’s new app discovery features and a carrier-backed frictionless payment method, users will find it significantly easier to discover and purchase applications of their choice.

We’ve been rolling out Direct Carrier Billing to all AT&T users over the past several days, as part of a general update to the Market service. Also in the update, please watch for the arrival of new features we announced recently, including the 15-minute refund window, dynamic Wallpaper and Widget categories, new 50MB max .apk size, and more. In addition, we’ve added even more categories to make it easier to find great apps in popular categories, such as “Media & Video”, “Music & Audio”, “Business”, “Sports” (in “Games”), and more. If you have one or more published apps on Android Market, please take a look at these new categories and decide if they are more suitable for your products.

We strongly believe carrier billing is a great way to make it easy for users to purchase and pay for applications. In addition to the availability of AT&T and T-Mobile US carrier billing, we’ll continue to partner with more carriers to offer carrier billing options for their subscribers.

2010 has been an awesome year for Android due in large part to your support. We have seen tremendous growth in Android Market both in terms of application volume and quality. In 2011, we remain committed to making Android Market the best mobile application store possible. As always, please don’t hesitate to continue giving us feedback through Market Help Center.

Best wishes for the new year!