Er, not being entirely convinced by this story in The Register, I typed “Brothels in Cambridge” into Google Maps, and it came up with five establishments. The first was BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. The second was the Medical Research Council. Both are exceedingly respectable outfits — and the other three listed seemed, well, improbable! Shome mishtake here, as Private Eye says, mimicking Bill Deedes (aka William Boot).
On the other hand, a search for “Churches in Cambridge” provides an excellent and accurate list. So what is it about brothels that makes Google go wild?
En passant, it seems improbable to me that a town as sedate as Cambridge would have brothels. Or perhaps I am just naive.
Later: Andrew Brown, from whom nothing is hidden emails with an ingenious theory.
If you click on the links on the map, you will come, often enough, to news stories in which brothels are mentioned that have little or nothing to do with the place on the map. But if they came from a newspaper which was spidered at a time when it also had a brothel story on the same page, this will fool Google. I think that because it’s not a recognised business category that we get this problem. That would certainly explain why the police stations are there in the Register story.
That seems pretty plausible to me. Come back, Google, all is forgiven.