Google Places on smartphones snubs St Ives to send users to Cambridge

St Ives is a search engine black spot on smart phones which use Google as a search engine, with the technology sending mobile users to surrounding businesses... anywhere but St Ives.

The mapping issue means that a simple search on Google mobile’s site for a shop or pub will offer potential customers businesses in Huntingdon and Cambridge.

Carole Pitts, who owns Serendipity Counselling in St Ives, said: “I use my smart phone quite a lot to find the nearest shops to where I am, but if you search for my business using the location, it directs you elsewhere.

“It’s difficult enough in these times to be a small business but this just makes it harder.”

A similar issue arises when searching for St Ives in the desktop version of Google Maps – the seaside resort is the default option.

Jane Bowd, town centre manager, told The Hunts Post: “It’s a massive insult to the town and it needs to be sorted. We also have the problem where if you search for hotels, you are directed to St Ives in Cornwall.”

A spokesman said: “Google is committed to providing our users with the richest, most up-to-date maps possible.

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“We have built our map from a wide range of authoritative sources and have used satellite, aerial, and Street View imagery.

“We have introduced the ‘Report a problem’ tool that enables users to directly communicate with us about any updates they think need to be made to our maps.”