It always surprises me how many other professionals I meet and network within the Local SEO community who have little to no knowledge of how Google Map Maker works and how it can impact the small businesses they work with. Many either hate Map Maker or ignore it all together. However, I’ve always found Map Maker to be an awesome tool that can really benefit the Local SEO community if used properly. I’m going to be writing several articles on how I use Map Maker, and I’ll start by highlighting some of the ways the rules for Map Maker are unique. Differences in Rules The rules for Map Maker are different from those of Google My Business (GMB). Many SEOs have a bad first experience with Map Maker because they approach it with the GMB guidelines and think that all the rules are the same. The rules are not the same — and if you aren’t familiar with the differences, you’ll have a less-than-great experience. Here are just a few examples of what is different … [Read more...] about 5 Major Differences Between Google Map Maker & Google My Business Guidelines
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!
San Francisco is the third-worst city in the United States for traffic congestion, according to a study by the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard. Commuters in San Francisco spend an extra 78 hours a year delayed in traffic, and as far as I can tell, it won’t be getting better any time soon. Now that traffic information is so easy to access from any smartphone, your customers are likely checking and changing their behavior because of it. And when your customers change their behavior, you should be able to react. Today, I’m happy to share a library I wrote to access Google Maps traffic data to determine commute times. By entering an origin, destination and departure time, you can quickly see how long a normal drive takes and how long the drive takes with traffic. Using that data, you can change your bids and Ad schedules or enable a set of Ads targeted directly toward those commuters. Please note that I’m not advocating for you to advertise to commuters while they’re … [Read more...] about Pull Google Maps traffic data into AdWords with this script library
Does the name Bryan Seely ring a bell? He’s the guy last year who managed to create fake listings for the US Secret Service and the FBI in Google Maps that some people fell for. Seely did it to demonstrate a weakness with Google Maps, one that still exists and allowed him to recently make another fake listing — this time putting Edward Snowden in the White House. Google Maps Shows Edward Snowden In The White House is our Marketing Land story from yesterday that explains how the listing for “Edward’s Snow Den” was shown by Google Maps to exist within the White House, complete with Google verification. Tonight, Seely got in touch to explain how he did it. Seely claims to have done it, and he’s going to forward proof my way. But after our phone conversation, I have little doubt it was his work. It was a demonstration, he explained, that he put together for a Tedx Kirkland talk he gave last week. The FBI & Secret Service Fake Listings The video of … [Read more...] about How A Long-Standing Google Maps Loophole Let This Man Put Edward Snowden In The White House
Put simply, the reason that this series of updates is incredibly valuable is because it improves the experience of Google Maps for both the user and the business owner. The business owner is going to be able to advertise and market more directly to local customers, and users are going to have a much easier time finding the businesses and deals in a given area. In this way, both physical and website traffic is bound to increase at your storefront, but only if you take note of these updates and make the necessary strides to get involved with the updates ASAP. In response to the increase in local searches, there are three updates that are going to be making a big impact on user/business experience with Google Maps. Consequently, there are also three ways that you can take advantage of these updates to best serve your business. #1 Utilize Promoted Pins to Advertise Location & Rank First One of the newest features for local search advertisement is the promoted pin. Promoted pins are … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Take Advantage of Google Maps Ads