It's happened before and it will probably happen again. Nearly a year after local search gurus reported on a major hijacking problem with Google Local Business listings, reports are popping up all over again about a fresh crop of hijacked listings. Lisa Meyers made a post last week over at SEO Chicks sharing the problem they ran into when the local listings for one of their clients was hijacked. ...we get back from the Christmas holidays, login to our client Analytics and see that the local business listings traffic has halved!! We went on to search on the top "local keyword terms" on Google and found ALL OUR listings had been replaced! Our exact listing, with all the reviews, pictures, videos - everything was the same, including the phone number BUT the web address was to another website. A website that was loosely related to our client through a third party affiliate scheme. They were ranking for all the terms in the local result that we have been ranking for for months, they had … [Read more...] about Google Local Business Listings are Being Hijacked Again
Google local business center
The Google Local Business Center has just added four new features for business owners who want to maintain a Google Local Business listing. Below, a step-by-step guide to how you can adjust the marker for your business, add a photo to your listing, add custom attributes and see statistics on how your listing is performing. First, a bit more about each new feature. You can now: Add photos to your Google Maps listing (within the guidelines) Add custom attributes to your business listings Correct and adjust your Google map marker location, so if it is slightly off, you can move it to the right spot You can now see statistics on how many people viewed and clicked on your local business listings How do you use these features? Let me walk you through how I updated my business listing. Upload photos: Go to Google Local Business Center and login under your account that is associated with your business listing. If you don’t have one, then you need to set one up. The screen should look … [Read more...] about Google Local Business Center Adds Photos, Attributes, Maps Corrections & Stats
Google Maps recently introduced a new user interface for the Local Business Center. There were some issues with the upgrade and Carter Maslan, Google’s Director of Product Management for Local, agreed to answer some of my questions about the process in a phone conversation. Below, selected excerpts from our conversation: Mike Blumenthal: What was the goal of the upgrade? What prompted the change? Carter Maslan: We wanted to address usability issues to make it simpler to get through the process and having it flow on a single screen was a big driver. Usability was the main motivator… simple things like not a big enough map to be able to accurately move the pin, having a clear sense of where you are in the process, etc. We were trying to address the flow through the enrollment to make it as fast and simple as possible. What do you perceive to be the greatest improvements from the new interface? We do a combo of usability studies in labs and monitor actual usage and user … [Read more...] about Carter Maslan On Google’s Local Business Center Upgrade
Imagine going to the Post Office to check your post office box to discover that all of your mail and receipts for the past few weeks had been forwarded to an unknown party. The Post Office informed you that there was no chance of getting your receipts back and if you wanted to start receiving your mail at your PO box once again, you needed to go over to their new business center and fill out some forms to claim your box. Just notifying the Post Office that it was your box was not enough to protect it in the future. Due to normal delays in processing it would be 2 weeks before you started receiving your mail and money again. If you’re a small business with a local listing in one of the major search engines, you need to beware: the same scenario described above could happen to your local search result info if you’re not careful. The apparent hijacking of a large number of independent florists in Google Maps several weeks back is just such a story. Google, in the role of Post … [Read more...] about Claim Your Google Local Business Listing Before Someone Else Does!
Google has decided to change the name of what was called the “Google Local Business Center” to “Google Places.” The rationale, according to the press release, is to better connect Google Place Pages with the place where local business information is claimed, entered and enhanced: Why? Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world, and we want to better connect Place Pages – the way that businesses are being found today – with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google. Service areas (previously announced) Enhanced listings ($25 per month) renamed “Tags.” Adding to its initial markets, Houston and San Jose (CA), Google is adding Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco. Business Photos: free interior photography of the business. Customized QR codes that are unique to an individual business and “can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, … [Read more...] about Google Local Business Center Becomes “Google Places”