Question about Google Places Search Results

Google Places BusinessThe following questions come from SALMAN SIDDIQEE through e-mail. Because this is of a general nature and applies to everyone who has business online I have posted the responses to his questions in this blog post.

Question: How does Google’s new “Business proximity map” effect the SEO and rankings? It seems as if, even if you on the first page of Google for geo-targeted KWP’s, you still get bumped down half the page because Google brings up the map listing of all the local businesses first instead of the actual number 1 ranked page.

Answer:  This is indeed a challenge for businesses that rank based on SEO. When there is a name of the place or city in a search Google automatically posts it’s local search results first. This is what you are calling the business proximity map. In my experience, the search results are based on a number of key factors however, if you are not in proximity of the area that is named in the keyword search you will not register in this list, obviously.

It would definitely be a great idea for you to list yourself in Google Places. Some of the things to keep in mind would be to use the keyword phrase in your title not the name of your business. Then Google also recognizes how many listings you have on other websites, in other words back links, and other factors that contribute to your optimal search listing.

Question: Is the best solution to get on the first page of Google and just face the fact that local business listings on the map will always take a bite out of your organic traffic?

Answer: Yes. The reason you rank for a keyword phrase is based on content, context and back links. The only time that local business listings will outrank your search listing is when the city or area is named in the keyword search.

Question: Is the black hat technique of registering multiple addresses on Google map covering the whole city that you are targeting a good idea or bad one?

Answer:  This is not only a bad idea it is next to impossible to do. Google verifies your address by sending you a postcard and a password that you would enter into the Google places back end. Once you enter this password then your address is verified. It is very difficult to enter multiple addresses if you do not have them. Obviously a franchise with multiple addresses would find this easier than a solopreneur or a small business that has only one location.

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