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Archive for the ‘Google Places’ Category

Place Search – Google Changes the Game of Local Search

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The Local Search Results Page See’s Dramatic Changes with Places Search!

Wow, Google completely changed the local search game yet again. This should really come as no surprise to those who follow Google closely. My earlier blog post spoke about the importance of not putting all your eggs into one basket when it comes to Google places. So many businesses have been neglecting to optimize their natural organic rankings, instead placing a total emphasis on only optimizing their Google Places listing. In the local search world we call this “mapism”. This is going to come as a complete shock to many who have been benefiting from first page exposure do to their local listing, as well as a those those who relied on Pay per Click for first page traffic.

This full scale change by Google effectively puts an end to “mapism”. Those local businesses who only optimized to get into the 7 pack have to change tactics. Now, the local and general search algorithms have been combined (now called Places Search or Places Mode ) to generate listings based on results from both.

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Is Local Search Becoming All About Google Places?

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Lately, local search seems to have become all consumed with the Google Places Local Business Directory. The reason being, Google lists their Places results at the top of the page ahead of the traditional organic search listings. This has created a dynamic shift in the way Internet marketers and local business owners use the Internet for community based customer acquisition. Many local businesses have come to find themselves struggling in a stagnate economy, and know they have to look beyond the phonebook for new customers.

local seoGoogle Places is such an attractive marketing channel because of its absence of cost and the tremendous potential ROI the platform can offer local business. Within the past few years, Google has been working extremely hard to identify “search intent”. This is the process of understanding the meaning (or “intent”) behind a keyword search as well as the search engine users motivation for performing the search. So in other words, if a New York based searcher enters the keyword phrase  “dentists”, Google understands that they are not looking for a dental practitioners based out of L.A. , and serves their results accordingly. So instead competing for search engine positions on a national scale, these local business owners are now vying for position amongst only their regional competition. This has leveled the playing for businesses that before felt it was impossible to compete on such a national scale.
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