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Posts Tagged ‘google maps’

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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Google Maps Removes URL’s From Their Listings

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Google maps took a step backward a few days ago in an effort to self promote Google Places. When someone searches Google Maps for a business location, the Maps search engine provides a list of local businesses residing in the area (fig. A). These listings previously contained a url that linked directly to the listings website.

Google Maps Figure A

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Long Island Local Business Listings

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organic seo long islandLocal Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is without a doubt the right path every local business should take to access their local market. Every local business’ website must be designed for local SEO to get noticed by local search engines. Global searches are vastly different from local searches, as search engine algorithms for each kind of searches are also different. There must be specificity in optimizing a local website in order to fit what major search engines are looking for in a local search category. In local SEO, there often are smaller kinds of traffic targeted and the geography of the market should also be considered if you are looking to outrank your competitors in local search engines such as Google, Yahoo local, and Bing.
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