One of Google’s more recent changes is placing a bigger emphasis on your local places listing! Google Places has long been a great (and free) way for businesses to, quite literally, get on the map. It’s been the case for quite some time that a local search (for example, when you search for a service plus the name of a town) brings back Pleases results, in many cases above the organic search results themselves.
But since the changes, there’s even more importance on this. Let’s take a look at an example.
If you search “Restaurant Manchester,” you will see the standard place listings at the top.
However, even if you search “Restaurant” now (without any reference to a place) you will find the Place results infiltrating the organic results, albeit it in a slightly different way.
What we now see is the top half of the first results page dominated by listings that are something of a combination between the Place listing and the organic listing. And what’s particularly interesting is that these results aren’t even necessarily local! I carried out this search from Manchester and the second result has a listed address in Shropshire.
While the Places change was designed to return more relevant local results, what we have found is that it can affect a wide range of searches where there is no local term searched. What this means for you is that you need to have a Places listing, irrespective of whether you’re targeting a local, national or even international market.
You can claim your Google Place listing from here.
Simply claiming the listings isn’t always enough. Obviously, how difficult it will be for you to makes your visible towards the top of the Places results depends on how many competitors of yours have claims their listing too. But with Places playing an increasingly important role in how Google displays results, competition is probably set to rise.
A critical part of any SEO campaign should now be claiming the local listing and optimising it too!
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About the Author
Stacey joined us in 2009 as a junior copywriter; now she's a recognised figure on the global speaking circuit, having wowed audiences in the UK, Europe and US - including at MozCon 2014. She leads our search team and works with clients to deliver high-level campaign strategies.Visit Stacey's Page
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