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Archive for the ‘Google Local’ Category

Were You Affected by Google’s Most Recent Changes?

If you had not noticed, Google has changed how they display the local search listings. Formerly, the listings were displayed at the top of the page with a map and the listings to the right of it (as displayed below):

google-local-old

With the most recent change, the map image is listed in the right column of the page and the actual listings from the top 7 or top 10 local businesses in the map, now occupy the main section of the search results page.

What does this mean for business owners? Well, first, some have reported changes in how their business is listed. Perhaps there was an algorithm shuffle, so some business have seemed to have fallen from the coveted map based search results, and others may now have better positioning.

Secondly, it may mean that business owners want to pay more attention to Google AdWords. I imagine some will speculate that Google did this for the sole purpose of boosting AdWords revenue. I am not sure, but I do know that I preferred the old format.

Let me know your thoughts on the changes, and of course if you need help getting found on the new platform let me know.

How to Enhance Your Google Local Listing

Today I went to both the dentist and the chiropractor, so I did a lot of thinking about how local businesses generate traffic. The dentist was a new dentist to me and was literally across the street. I did a Google search to get the number by searching for dentists and my zip code. By the time I left I was talking to the dentist about online marketing and whether or not he wanted to barter for an $800+ crown 🙂 He was a super guy and when I got back home, I decided to add a review to his Google Local Listing. Not only am I sure he will appreciate it, but I will print it out to give him with a copy of my new book (The Internet Marketing Guide for Small Business) and show him that I have already started to market his business for him.

As I sat at my chiropractors office, I realized I had never asked for his business although he has mine. The owner wasn’t there, but I thought how effective it would be if I could help him grow his local business by offer his existing customers a free adjustment for leaving a comment on Google Local. If he decides to do it, hopefully, I can report back with some good news.

As I drove home, I started to think about how different businesses could offer their current customers something of value that would not only keep them coming back, but help to increase their testimonials of Google Local. If you have another local review site of choice such as Yelp, it is just as applicable, but I felt that Google was a good one to use particularly because when I search, I try and find reviews to help me narrow down my decision.

I think I am on to something here and if you are willing to implement this strategy, I’d love to hear your success story.

Have a great weekend!


Address Reporting Error at Google Local / Google Maps

Has anyone else ever had this problem? I manage a website where Google continues to report the address incorrectly. It was an address that was used to register the domain years ago, but has since been changed at the registrar AND in the Google Local business profile. There is no real way to contact Google to discuss this, but updating and even removing the business profile has not fixed it.

When you Google the business, the domain comes up showing an address that is nowhere on the site and no longer associated with the business. When you click on the listing, the address actually changes to the correct address but it won’t show it in the search results.

Any thoughts? Matt? Google? Bueller? Bueller?


Google Maps Gone Awry

I noticed today on a site that I managed that there are a few discrepancies in the addresses that Google Local / Google Maps is showing. Initially, it showed an old address that was the personal address for the person who had registered it years ago. The site had relatively little search engine presence so it really wasn’t an issue. When I came along, one of the first things I did was to update this info in Google Local so that the correct business address would come up rather than the owners address.

A few weeks ago I was alerted that the listing was showing the owners home address which was alarming to her. I found this odd because I had confirmed the change AND seen it live in Google. I was curious to know how it had reverted, so I did some searching and found some other dated references to her home address (Takeaway – don’t register your domain to your home address if you don’t want it public down the road). Anyhow, I attempted to update it, but it was still showing correctly in Google Local, so I picked up the phone and called my Google Local rep using the contact info on the site. The I WOKE UP because there isn’t any contact info, so I had to use the online form which didn’t give me an option to say that there was a problem without re-routing me to the help section, which by this point I could quote.

That brings us to today where I no only still have not heard from Google, still have the owners home address coming up on the Google Local listing, AND now I see where Google is picking up random addresses from the pages. I am not at liberty to share the site due to confidentiality, but having worked in the IYP (Independent Yellow Pages) world, I thought that surely they had seen this, so I went to Metro Directories, my trusty Atlanta Local Yellow Pages and did some checking. Sure enough, here is what I found:

You will see from this sample of listings from the site a listing with an address that is not that of Metro Directories:
http://www.oldschoolseo.com/images/gmap1.pdf

And here you will see the page from the Metro Directories website where the address was extracted from:
http://www.oldschoolseo.com/images/gmap2.pdf

I am curious to know if anyone else has experienced this. And Google, what’s the deal?


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