Google Maps Cupcake Calorie Tracking

What’s this about?

Naturally, I am up in arms about Google unintentionally offending people by measuring calories burned for walking distances in terms of mini-cupcakes.

My pitchfork is sharpened and ready to prod.

This incident shows that every now and again, tests out in the wild can go awry and end in unforeseen results. Or tears in this case.

Move fast and upset people, maybe?

#SEO #SEONews #ProductTesting #GoogleMaps


Google Maps Adds & Swiftly Removes Cupcake Calorie Tracking

Key Issues Summary:

  • In the interests of fitness, I suppose, Google added a calorie counter feature to its Google Maps app when walking to a destination.
  • The feature also illustrated the calories used with the addition of cupcake images.
  • Unsurprisingly, this “feature” was removed within 24 hours.

Google Maps Cupcake Calorie Tracking

Key Actions To Take:

  1. This is slightly unfortunate but it is serious from the perspective of being careful what gets released and removing inappropriate things swiftly.
  2. Try to treat customers sensitively. Cupcakes for calories is not a particularly good example of this.
  3. Try to ensure team members don’t push a test live, if it was a test.
  4. If caught releasing insensitive material, remove it swiftly, apologise if needed.
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss the new cupcake / calorie metric to be used in dieting.

Insights & Discussion:

I can only think this was a test, or a piece of design-thinking which was accidentally pushed live. Google is constantly testing and refining its products, and as we move inexorably away from our archaic alphabet-driven writing system to a new emoji language, this would have been a concept test of this.

Of course, when we’re testing things we often put striking data or images into the test to make sure it stands out. Cupcakes for calories is by any stretch a striking piece of imagery.

Perhaps next week, Google will include a “surely you can walk that far?” voice-reminder when we ask for directions to a place it deems walkable.

More Information:

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TL;DR

  • It turns out that if you represent calories burned in terms of mini-cupcakes people will get offended.
  • Who knew?
  • Joking aside, clearly this is not something that should have surfaced. Google’s Testing Authorisations Manager must have been on holiday when this was passed.
  • Test your products frequently, analyse and act on those insights.
  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017.
  • Read about how Google’s Mobile First Index is not Mobile Friendly.
  • Finally, get your content ranking well on Google by starting to understand Find Crawl Index.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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