Google Places Makes Changes to Local Listings

SEO Agencies are buzzing about a recent algorithm change Google implemented that affects the listings of businesses on Google Places. In case you are wondering, Google Places is a free place to list your business and when searchers in your local area search criteria that meet what your business is listed for, there is a good chance you will come up in the map and the organic search results. This has always been great for local businesses and often resulted in one of the few quick wins an SEO agency like Tampa SEO could hope for. It seems that Google has now changed the algorithm that affects the listings of businesses that have companies where their customers DO NOT come to the business location to be serviced.

Why The Changes?

Upon doing some research we found that the change comes as an approach to improve listings for businesses. Basically, Google is making an attempt to rank businesses that are based on whether a user should or could use Maps to find them. In other words, if the business comes to you, these businesses will have to apply to what seems to be the only way to get your business to stay on the Google Places Maps- by hiding their Google Places Address! Let’s dive deeper into this.

Who Is or Isn’t Affected?

As stated above, businesses that Google deems would require patrons to visit their store would be safe from this change. According to one SEO agency, here is what a Google employee emailed them:

What are my options when defining a service area?

Don’t receive customers at your location? Serve customers at their location? Select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option within your dashboard — if you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.

So what Google is telling us is that if you do not have a brick and mortar store where customers come to you then you should select the “Do not show my address on my Maps listing” option within your account. Also, if you serve customers at home and on the road you should show your address and use the Service Radius Tool.

So if you are a carpenter, plumber, electrician, AC repairman, or the like, you would benefit from hiding your address otherwise you may disappear from the listings. If you are a bank, retail store, restaurant, or a store where customers come to you, then you don’t need to take any action.

For more questions on this matter contact your local Tampa SEO Agency today.

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Posted in: Blog, SEO Advice by on March 29th, 2012 Comments (0)

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