If you've ever traveled to a new city, guidebook in hand, this experience may sound familiar: seeking out a restaurant or store that you've read about, you arrive at the correct address only to find that the place you're looking for has closed down. Sure, your frustration might subside when you notice the Happy Hour specials at the watering hole next door, but there's nothing to prevent others from also setting their course for the now-defunct digs. 

Fortunately, you can help other users get the most up-to-date look at your neighborhood in Google Maps. Using the Community Edits features, consider doing a quick "Neighborhood Watch" -- cleaning up Google Maps where you live so those not so familiar with your stomping ground don't get sent on a wild goose chase. Here are a couple things you can do.

Remove a business that's permanently closed:
  1. Search for the business that has closed down and click its marker. In the info window, click Edit > Remove Place.
  2. When asked why the business should be removed, select "It is permanently closed."
  3. Click Remove Place

If the business in question is still around, but not quite at the spot marked on the map, just move the marker:
    1. Click Edit > Move marker in the info window for the business in question.
    2. Drag the marker to the actual location of the entrance of the business.
    3. Click Save.

Now, it might seem like giving anyone the ability to move markers and remove businesses could create a few more problems than it solves. That's why there are a couple of safety measures in place to make sure these edits make Google Maps more accurate, not less. Google investigates businesses flagged for removal, as well as markers that are moved over 200 meters. So while your changes may not appear right away, rest assured that we appreciate your help in keeping Google Maps a reliable tool for travelers and locals alike.