Best Practices Google Local Places

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Ninety-Third Internet Marketing Podcast January 21th 2010. Second page of Show Notes

Best Practices Google Local Places

Chris:                           Go check out creative-dynamics.eu. Darren Booy, you rule.

Paul:                            That’s our main man, Darren, the very first person that ever asked us a question on our podcast.

Chris:                           I used that image in a presentation yesterday because it’s like so — I mean it really speaks to kind of the followership that we have and the support that we get putting this podcast together. So thank you, guys. By the way, you can show some love, show some appreciation. Go onto to iTunes, create an account, submit a review. Go to our Facebook page, facebook.com/ewebstyle. There is a review tab up there. It works. We just checked it out with Terry Crosby. She was having a little challenge and it’s all working. On our wall right now there’s a list of other podcasts that you can go listen to. She’s apparently an SEO podcast junkie. We’re happy to provide one small nugget of crack to support her habit but you can find some other podcasts that she listens to. And wow, we really appreciate you guys. You can also follow us on Twitter, twitter.com/ewebstyle and we do broadcast this live at 9:15 Central Standard Time, and we made it on time this morning, from Houston on Friday mornings and just go to e-webstyle.com/ustream. That will take you to our page where that is embedded. We really appreciate you guys listening.

Paul:                            All right. A couple of quick question before we get into the content.

Chris:                           One last piece of news.

Paul:                            Oh, go ahead.

Chris:                           I almost forgot. This was really cool. Last piece of news. If you guys haven’t heard of Bleeko, it’s a search engine. If you go to Bleeko and you type in, say, your website, it will come up and there’s a little link right on the search engine results page called SEO. You go there and it gives you some really good details. You can actually compare your website or one website to another website and look at how the inbound links are different. Look at how many pages have been crawled, what are the site pages because there is a compare button there. And ours under duplicate content, we had www.e-webstyle.com is duplicated content with e-webstyle.com probably because the last time they traversed our site we didn’t have our 301 redirect in place. So that’s now in place. That won’t be true. And go check out Bleeko. It’s pretty cool.

Paul:                            And that’s going to lead to our listener question from a new podcast listener, Kennedy Williams of KH Williams Design and Marketing. He says, “Hey, guys, I just picked up your podcast a week or so ago and now I’m an avid listener. I’m in intermediate level SEOer and I have a question about some of your suggestions in previous podcast. Question #1: Redirects. You suggested doing a 301 redirect to consolidate data. But when I do a search on how to accomplish this, well resources are lacking. Any suggestions?”

Chris:                           You know, first, I have to disagree. It’s not that resources are lacking. It’s that resources are overwhelming. I’m sure if you do a 301 redirect one you may end up on our website. I know we do get some traffic from that. You may end up on our blog. Maybe on the page 2 of the search result there. It’s easy — I think you can have an easy time of it if you’re using .asp, .php. I’ve put the lines of code. It’s only about two lines of code, maybe three that go into the very top of a page that you want to redirect somewhere. So you really should be able to 301redirect.asp, 301redirect.php, and then .aspnet, that should also be as easy as .asp. I think there is a way to do it with HTML of the top of my head we haven’t — I haven’t had to do that as of late. So there should be an easy way to do that. But can you go ahead and send me, either put it on Facebook or you can contact us at podcast@e-webstyle.com. Send us the link, the page, and then the page that you want it forwarded to and I’ll throw something together and we can help you out on that.

Paul:                            All right. Second question. Sort of similar. “What’s the best way to use the canonical tag?” Again, “resources are lacking and confusing.”

Chris:                           We don’t really use the canonical. We just use the straight 301 redirect. I think what the canonical is for really — and I may have this wrong so somebody correct me if I’m wrong, is a way to have the page still there but tell the search engines that really give all the juice to this other page. I think that’s what that’s about. We just use straight 301 redirect and really try to get rid of the old page after some time, after the search engines are aware of that. It really needs to be redirected.

Paul:                            And last question, “Google wants you to specify a preferred domain, for example, http://www.example.com or http://example.com. Is one better than the other?”

Chris:                           Not really. We tend to use the www as the default mostly because people associate it with it and I’ve a story. It’s really kind of crazy. So I was working with a technology guy. I can’t remember if it was in web or just in IT. And I pulled up his website or I tried to pull up his website leaving off the www. It didn’t work. I was like, “Wait a minute. I was on the site the other day.” I added the www, it worked. Really that’s a server setting. He’s just got a wrong setting. And when I got on the phone with him I was like, “You know, I tried to pull up your website and I didn’t use the www and it didn’t work. You might want to talk to your hosting guy or you fix it or whatever.” And he was like, “Well, you’re supposed to use the www.” And I was like, “I didn’t know that and on most other websites, in fact every website I’ve ever done, you don’t have to.” And is that really what you’re going to tell your customers who can’t — oh, wait, they’re not going to be able to find you so you’re not going to have a conversation with him. So hey, at least you’re right though.

Paul:                            Did he use to work for Apple? You’re searching the internet wrong like I didn’t know there weren’t rules. I’m sorry.

Chris:                           You’re holding the phone wrong.

Paul:                            For real.

Chris:                           There’s a phrase that I really like which is “You can be right or you can be happy. You can be right or you can be rich.” This guy was more interested in being right than being rich.

Paul:                            I’ll be wrong all day and be rich. I’ll take that.

Chris:                           Yeah, exactly.

Paul:                            And the last question from our main man, Darren Booy, across the pond in England, in London, I believe.

Chris:                           Darren Booy of South — by the way, it’s too bad he didn’t become like a famous athlete because can you imagine when he gets like put on the court or the field or whatever, we’ll be like “Boo-y!” And maybe they wouldn’t even do the “y”.

Paul:                            Oh, just “Boo!”

Chris:                           Just “Boo!” And then if they were all upset at him, he wouldn’t know.

Paul:                            Yeah. [Laughter]

Chris:                           He’d be like, “Thank you. Thank you.” We’re like, “No, we’re booing you this time.” “Thank you. Yes.”

Paul:                            Thank you. I love it. Darren had a great question. And Darren, we talked about some in the first recording and I’m not really sure if I’m understanding you correctly. So here are two answers. The question: “Would Google see a listing more relevant if the Google places listing that unbelievably takes two to three weeks to complete is embedded straight into your website? I wonder.”

Chris:                           My first comment, two to three weeks to complete if you don’t get banned and they stop interacting with you and somehow you become a Google places kind of — we’re on the fence, right, cause you have to love them and we don’t really like how we direct them.

Paul:                            Yeah.

Chris:                           So embedded, I think our big question here is what do you mean by “embedded”?

Paul:                            My first thought was somehow embedding your listing onto your website.

Chris:                           Like with an iframe or something probably. That’s one. I don’t know that that would help very much because — the iframe might. I think what would probably have more value is if you actually linked to your Google places ad. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. And it kind of makes sense because Google definitely knows how much traffic your Google places ad is getting and if you’re kind of maybe potentially pumping up that number because you are getting some traffic there that could have some value.

Paul:                            And I’ll say this, I’ve never read this and I said this in the first recording but it’s something different. But I’ve never read this. This is my own personal thought and feeling. Now, Google — everybody knows that the time someone spends on your site is a good thing. Google watches that and that can have an effect on your rankings in the search engine results page. My thinking is that the same thing would be true for your places page. Now, don’t hold me to that but I think you would get precedence if you get more traffic. If I get 100 visitors and Chris gets one visitor and I have 5 minutes on my places page and he has 30 seconds, I believe that Google would give me a better placement just because people spend more time, they interact more with mine. That’s how the websites work. I would — if someone told me that places pages work the same way or someway similar, I would believe that.

Chris:                           Yep.

Paul:                            So I don’t remember why I was getting into that. I was a complete tangent. So, oh, so I was thinking if you have a link to it on your website, as many avenues as you can have someone get to your places page, I think would be a good thing as long as they’re spending time there and I believe that Google watches that kind of stuff.

Chris:                           I like the concept. This is great. This is one of the reasons you should be listening to our podcast regularly and we love doing the podcast because we get this is it. I’ve never even thought in these terms, and this is the first time I’ve heard of, hey, maybe sending actually you taking the effort to send traffic to your Google local places listing could increase the value of that Google local places listing. So that’s pretty cool.

Paul:                            I say it cannot hurt and I would stand behind that 100%. It’s not going hurt sending you more traffic to your places page.

Chris:                           Absolutely.

Paul:                            So let’s get into places.

Chris:                           So now the article — we tried to give credit to the article, David Mihm, and it didn’t really have a title.

Paul:                            So your new name is Michigan. I can’t pronounce that. It’s like I kind of took this article as dos and don’ts of Google places. We talked about this so much because it’s so important. The places listings are becoming the forefront, the most important part of the search or are a very important part of the search.

Chris:                           Absolutely.

Paul:                            We can’t go over this enough and I don’t know what the title of this article —

Chris:                           Well, here what you could do is Google local searches SEO. I think literally Google local search SEO and that’s how I pulled up this article. If you just add like volume 3 and it was published in June 7, 2010, you should be able to find it. If you can’t find it, podcast@e-webstyle.com. We certainly want to give credit because this is a great piece of work. The guy’s name is David Mihm. So you guys can look that up. And again, if you can’t find it, let us know. We just want to make sure that that he gets all the credit that he deserves.

Paul:                            So thanks, David. We appreciate that. We did it better though.

[Laughter]

Chris:                           All right. And at one point we’re going to insult all of the experts.

Paul:                            Yeah.

[Laughter]

Paul:                            So for those of you who are following from last podcast we’re going to start at number 20. Now, the numbers bounce around so don’t worry about the numbers. I just want to focus on the content. Number 20 — excuse me, 21, associating a places page with marginally related categories. It’s of high importance and low agreements. So I don’t even know how to take that.

Chris:                           I mean even with us as we were talking about this point, we’re not exactly sure what they mean. A marginally related, does that mean it’s still — so Google has their own categories and you can put in your own categories. Does marginally related mean like not really related but when one of Google’s main categories or does it mean something that I’ve added in — physically typed in myself? So we don’t know the answer to the —

Paul:                            What I would say, stick with the Google categories first.

Chris:                           Absolutely.

Paul:                            Then add your own categories. If it’s going to be marginally related, basically what I read that the experts are basically saying, “Okay.” They’re saying yes and no. It can help you. It typically only helps you in long tail search phrases and that’s it. But it doesn’t really seem like it can’t hurt you. However, the consistency seems to be stick with the categories at Google gives you, try to find the categories that are related as closely as possible, and then if you have some, you don’t have enough categories, go after some long tail keyword phrases with some marginally related categories but —

Chris:                           Something to note, Google Boost is basically Pay Per Click for Google local places and it’s a — Google boost is a situation where you don’t have the option to control the exact keywords. And we talked about this if you’ve been listening to our podcast for a while. We talked about this in the past where when we first started Google Boost they were giving us terms like “marketing Houston” and there’s a lot of marketing that we don’t do. We don’t do radio, we don’t do TV. So it’s not really a relevant — it’s not highly targeted traffic for us.

So I wrote a letter to them. There’s no way for me to do it. I sent them an email and they were back and they seemed to have gotten that squared away. One thing that I have noticed though is all of the keywords are based on the Google categories that are actually Google categories, not the categories that I’ve kind of made up and added in there. So it’s one of those things. Google is going to go off of their own categories first. So make sure you choose the right categories there even if there’s one — and I would say even if it’s marginally and yet still related to yours, I would choose the marginally over something that I hand create that’s more exact.

Paul:                            I would as well. And here’s a question to a couple of listeners specifically these are listeners that I know that are in industries that may not have a lot of different categories. Google gives something 5 maybe 6 categories you can enter into. Dean Calhoun, Affygility Solutions, they’re an environmental health and safety. I’d like to know how Dean —

Chris:                           What categories did he choose?

Paul:                            Yeah. How many environmental health and safety categories does Google offer? There was a guy, I cannot remember his name. He’s a new listener. He did Jumper Training. What — oh, man. He owns a couple of different businesses but I’d like to know what did he use — with web design we do a lot of things so we can choose web design, internet marketing, all kinds of stuff. So I’d like to know what other people use.

Chris:                           For something so niche and so specific and really kind of limited from the broad retail landscape or the broad landscape that Google is really trying to address. It would be interesting to see what you guys —

Paul:                            And I think — I’m not sure if it’s Eugene who works from FUNJET Watercraft or — I don’t think it’s Eugene. It’s someone else that hit us up. He’s the chief geek for I believe it was like FUNJET Watercraft or something. I’d like to know, what did you use for your five categories? Did you write your own? Did you find something marginally related that was already there? Just interesting to know.

Chris:                           And then how is it working?

Paul:                            Yeah, definitely how’s it working and let me know if you got banned.

[Laughter]

Chris:   We can do — have a Kumbayah. We got band moment.

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