I love local search. It follows many practices similar to Web search, though different often in ways that do reflect an attempt to map the real world. Google’s Streetview cars are a little like Google’s webcrawler Googlebot. Instead of collecting URLs for Websites, Google Maps collects addresses to associate with businesses, nonprofits, government offices, parks, landmarks, and many other destinations. It has its own challenges as well, such as the streetviews car being turned away at sentry guard booths for military bases, or not being able to drive down “private” roads. Google Maps also can’t use latitude and longitude coordinates in places like China since their export and use is classified by that country as if they were munitions. I’m also often frustrated by local search. Driving directions from Google often begin by telling you to go “east” or “west” on your first turn. I’m not Mason or Dixon, Lewis or Clark, and … [Read more...] about GPS to Correct Google Maps and Driving Directions as a Local Search Ranking Factor?
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Anyone can edit a business listings details on Google Maps and local. So if you have a competitor and you want to close them down, or shut their business hours, or change their web site address or worse, you can do that. The business owner may notice an email about the change, only after the change was implemented. Then they need to go in and update their listing and wait days for Google to update it in the search results.This is a major issue and to be honest, I shy away from covering it, because people target my business whenever I cover Google Maps hacks or exploits. Heck, my own business has it's business closed, hours changed, even our web site URL point elsewhere - because SEOs are awesome I guess? I mean, at least leave a positive review if you are going to mess with my Google Local listing please?And I am not alone, it happens all the time and local SEOs and business owners are super upset about it. In fact, we all want a way to disable people from making edits to our … [Read more...] about Fake Google Maps Edits Cause Major Business Disruptions
I used to think that locksmithing was the industry with the highest percentage of fake local listings on Google. I’m starting to think I was wrong. It all started a few weeks ago, when I was talking to Dev Basu at Powered By Search. He was asking me why businesses in Mississauga were showing up in the 3-pack when you did a search for “Toronto SEO.” After all, there are tons of great, well-known SEO companies in Toronto (including his and the one I work for), and shouldn’t these have priority over ones that aren’t even in the same city that was searched? Why were the results all businesses outside Toronto? When I started to investigate, I found that Google was pulling listings from Mississauga because of all the fake listings that SEO companies had created. These fake listings had their business name set up with a bunch of keywords as the title. Yes, unfortunately, this strategy works. Here is a screen shot that shows how the local results looked before I … [Read more...] about Please stop spamming Google Maps!
When it comes to digital marketing and SEO for your business, it’s important to look beyond just your website. For local businesses, a strong online marketing effort requires an investment in local directories, maps and review sites, too. If all of your optimization efforts are spent on your site, you’re likely missing out on opportunities. Google’s Pigeon algorithm update, released in July 2014, gave more prominence to local map and directory sites such as Yelp. In many instances, Yelp listings now rank above the business’ website. For example, when you search on the query [bakery phoenix], you have to scroll past three map listings and three organic listings before you finally see a local business website listing. That first local business website is in position 7, essentially. How many potential customers are going to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find your actual website? Nowhere near as many as are likely going to click on the map or … [Read more...] about Google Maps, Yelp & Local SEO In 2015
Windows Phone User? No Google Maps For You! To recap briefly, some Windows Phone users started reporting (as covered by The Verge) that they were unable to reach Google Maps using the Internet Explorer web browser on their phones. They got redirected instead to the Google home page. Google initially suggested (as covered by Gizmodo) that this was because Internet Explorer on Windows Phone wasn’t a WebKit-based browser and so Google Maps wouldn’t work for it. Google later added (as covered by The Next Web) that it was redirecting people on Windows Phone devices because of this incompatibility, but Google said this would soon change, since the latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows Phone was now apparently Google Maps-capable: Google sent us the same statement that The Next Web received, which says: We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users. In our last test, IE mobile still did … [Read more...] about The Strange Explanation Of Why Windows Phone Users Lost Access To Google Maps