Google Local Places Optimization

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

Google Local Places Optimization

Paul:                            Tell me about it. Okay. Number 29 which is not really 29, the location keyword in the places page, business title was of moderate importance and low agreement. From what I read basically this is what the experts are saying. It can have a benefit to you. It can also get you banned. And I don’t want to say banned but —

Chris:                           It can get you banned or whatever. Your account needs some work and until the work is done you won’t be viewed so you’re banned basically.

Paul:                            Yeah.

Chris:                           Because Google says specifically the business title is for your business name.

Paul:                            Yeah, now, let’s say the name of your business is “Houston Internet Marketing” I think that will be okay because Google has enough resources to know if that’s really your — they’ll find your listing in the millions of other directories in the yellow pages. I think they have enough information to know if that’s really your business name or you just did that.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            Here’s a quote from one of the experts named Mike Ramsey. He says, “Sad to say but I still see a plethora of businesses that are ranking well with location keywords. This is against the guidelines but still seems to have a positive effect for the time being. I don’t see this method working throughout 2010, 2011.” So —

Chris:                           I would agree. Don’t do it.

Paul:                            Yeah. You can get away with it. I wouldn’t do it.

Chris:                           I can tell you we tried to do it not with location base but adjusting the title for legitimate reasons. So I noticed that there was another — one of our clients is Orthopedic Surgery Center. I noticed other surgery centers would have each of their doctors listed and it would say the surgery center and then the doctor’s name, the surgery center and then the doctor’s name. So when I found our doctors listings I put our surgery center’s name in front of it and then the doctor. So this is — we’re not spamming. We’re not doing location. We’re just saying, “Hey, this doctor works here.” This is relevant. In fact, the doctor isn’t a business. The business is the business and the doctor is a reference and so it’s interesting how Google is trying to treat them. I think that’s one of the big reasons that that account got banned. We’ve since moved around that and they’re up and running again. But even for legitimate reasons I think we got banned and so that kind of sucks. And there’s no support with Google local places.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           That’s the scary part. If you get banned, you’re stuck. There’s a huge —

Paul:                            You can’t call anybody. You’re just SOL.

Chris:                           Yep.

Paul:                            And I think that sucks and I said this in our first recording. Google really needs to get their stuff together about the places. I think they’re keeping the door wide open for other companies like Foursquare and Yelp to really come in and take over the local search or become a significant player in the local search market. I won’t say “take over” because to me it’s so important because local search is everything and they don’t offer a lot of avenues for help in this — they suck for that, but we love them. 31, location keyword in the place page description. I thought like this is kind of similar to basically having the location in your description or having it in your title.

The general consistence it’s of moderate importance and moderate agreement. I believe that the general consistence was similar to the last one. It’s like, yes, this can help you but it can also hurt you at the same time. It basically says — here is what they said, “It has a minor benefit to your listing but it can also get you banned.” And one of the experts says that too many location keywords in your description can lead to a penalty. So can this help you? Yes. Can it get you banned? Yes. Again, I wouldn’t do it. And I said this again in the first recording. If you — let’s say you have multiple listings. We found at least 5 listings for our business, listings that were submitted to Google places via directories that we’re a part of and Google just pulls directly from that directory. You have a bunch of listings and you want to try some of this stuff out, these gray hat things, by all means go ahead. You have one listing, don’t roll the dice with your main listing because once you get banned it’s a pain. So don’t do it.

Chris:                           I think where this could be useful is, say, you’re in a particular suburb, your office is in a particular suburb, but you service a couple of suburbs around you. I think it would be worth putting those suburbs actually in that description. One, because it’s actually useful information. If the people are finding you and they want to know if you do work in their suburb, it’s good to have that comfort so they’ll know to pick up the phone and give you a call and make contact with you.

Paul:                            Yeah. What I’d say is just stay away from spamming and use your own — use your conscience. If you are in question whether this something is spamming or not it probably is.

Chris:                           Di you just tell our listeners to use their conscience?

Paul:                            Yeah.

[Laughter]

Chris:                           Did you see the bloody knuckles on the South Park image?

Paul:                            Yes. And the Zen Buddhist episode is coming up.

Chris:                           Become one with Google local places.

Paul:                            Sometimes I need that. Dealing with them is just a pain.

Chris:                           That’s another way that we get bloody knuckles.

Paul:                            Tell me about it.

Chris:                           Number 33, product and/or service in your place page custom fields. I think I misread this the first time, the first recording. It’s putting your product or service in the custom — basically, creating custom fields and adding your product or your service to one of the custom fields. Again, Google gives you 5 or 6 different fields to list what category your business is in. And so let’s say you sell Blue One Arm Widgets. I love this example, and obviously Google doesn’t have a listing for that so you want to create a category for Blue One Arm Widgets or maybe widgets and then another one for Blue One Arm Widgets. So this was modern importance and agreement. It says basically it kind of helps little to no effect. Here’s what I would tell you. You want to use Google’s categories first and then if you can’t find something that’s marginally related to it that’s in Google’s category then create your own and put your product and/or service. I don’t think it can hurt you unless you’re spamming. If you really do sell Blue One Arm Widgets go ahead and create the category, Blue One Arm Widgets, because all that stuff is going to be keyword searchable.

Chris:                           I think that’s interesting. One of the experts says, “Currently helps but it’s not against guidelines and will de-help soon.”

Paul:                            Wow!

Chris:                           That doesn’t even make any sense.

Paul:                            It doesn’t make any sense.

[Laughter]

Chris:                           Yes, somebody did.

Paul:                            Ah, okay. Well, they can wait.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            So again, go with the ones that Google gives you and then create your own — they can help but will de-help you pretty soon. This next one, number 35 which is really not 35, I thought was self-explanatory. Number 35 is associating videos with your places page and actually if you guys heard that that’s our doorbell. Someone’s just banging on the door. No one ever comes in here while we’re — oh, that’s FedEx? UPS?

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            Oh, okay.

Chris:                           They couldn’t wait.

[Laughter]

Paul:                            So associating a video with your places page. I thought this was like —

Chris:                           Duh!

Paul:                            — duh!

Chris:                           I can’t believe that it’s only moderate importance because we all know that you have to have 100% complete local listings in order to do well in the rankings.

Paul:                            Yeah.

Chris:                           Hello? It’s a no-brainer. Is this the one where we insulted them?

Paul:                            Yeah.

Chris:                           They’re all stupid.

Paul:                            All of you are stupid.

Chris:                           Anyone who said it’s not of high importance is stupid. By the way, when you do have a video, you do have the option I believe to upload a video or to associate it with a YouTube video. We recommend the YouTube video because YouTube is a Google product. It’s a free Google product. So put that video on YouTube and then have that associated with your Google local places listing.

Paul:                            Yes. And if you don’t have an actual video you can do like a still photo, collage. Do something, get creative, do something. You don’t have to be actually creating a video but it’s got — they got to have to be a video from YouTube.

Chris:                           Absolutely.

Paul:                            And like Chris says, use YouTube, use Google products. They’re not going to penalize you for it.

Chris:                           Right. And for your images Picasa is a Google product for images. You can tag the images a little bit more in-depth and then use those — tie those to your Google —

Paul:                            And I said this is the first recording, this is me. I’ve never read this. I’ve never heard anyone say it. Matt Cutts didn’t say it. But if you have the option to use Google products use them especially on things that can have an effect on your search engine placement, videos via YouTube, pictures via Picasa. Those are all things Google places. That’s a listing that can come up in their search engine results. Use all the different products that Google gives you that are available to you. I guarantee you it won’t hurt? Will it help? Maybe. Maybe not. It won’t hurt. And this is the last where we left off, right?

Chris:                           Yep.

Paul:                            Number 43 which really isn’t is the age of your places page. I have never heard this. Reading this article was the very first time I’d ever heard of it, but it makes perfect sense. Basically, they’re saying is how old your places page is but what was it is only like for a couple of weeks that it —

Chris:                           Yeah, It’s like — yeah, maybe for the six months I think it says.

Paul:                            Okay. Yeah, six months. After six months and really doesn’t make a difference, is that the kind of what it —

Chris:                           I would — yeah, I would agree. I mean one of the things is this is kind of moot for our audience so it’s kind of interesting to debate if it’s useful or not, if you don’t have a listing you need to get one. So there’s nothing you can do about time except to make one as quickly as possible. If you already have one, you already have it and there is no way that you can make it — age it somehow. So really make your listing. I think it probably does have some effect in early cases. These experts said a couple of things. They said they’ve seen some listings on the first page immediately and they’ve seen some delay on other stuff.

Paul:                            And what a couple of guys say is trust is everything just like in regular SEO and kind of here’s what they’re getting at. In the natural — in organic SEO, trust is a — your domain age is a big factor because they rate how much they can trust your site by the age of the site. Sites that have long — that are old are trusted more than brand new sites. So if you — we talked about the Sandbox so to speak. If you build a new website and you upload it, you’re going to be in the Sandbox for a little bit because they don’t trust you as of yet. Now, if someone told me that the same thinking goes into the places listing algorithm, I would completely believe it. I’m not saying that it is but it would sound —

Chris:                           It certainly would make sense.

Paul:                            It makes perfect sense to me. So here’s what I have to say about that. If you don’t have a places listing, you needed one six months ago. So get it.

Chris:                           So get one six months ago.

Paul:                            Get one six months ago.

Chris:                           Somehow.

Paul:                            Yeah.

Chris:                           All right. We’ve extended our time. There will be no charge for the extra time for this podcast. You are listening to the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. That is because of you, because you guys listen. We really appreciate you like Darren Booy with creative-dynamics.eu. Wow! What an honor. I used it in a presentation yesterday. Very cool. You can contact us at podcast@e-webstyle.com. We do do websites. We do do search engine optimization. We do do Pay Per Click.

Paul:                            Pay Per Click.

Chris:                           So if you’re looking for some of those services or maybe just some consulting. Maybe you’re concerned that whoever you’re working with isn’t doing a good enough job, let us know. We have a free website and SEO analysis. Just go to our website, e-webstyle.com. We’re getting more analyses and we’re getting those out as quickly as we can. Thank you for watching and thank you for submitting some information. Follow us on our Facebook page. Most importantly, go to iTunes, create an account, and submit a review both there and on Facebook and we’ll give you a shout out.

Paul:                            Yes. And if you listened to this podcast, liked us on Facebook, send us a note. Say, “Hey, I liked you. This is my name. This is what company I work with,” and your URL and we will give you a shout out on the podcast.

Chris:                           Excellent. So this is the end of podcast number 93. My name is Chris Burres.

Paul:                            Paul Hanson.

Chris:                           Bye-bye for now.

Paul:    And tune in next week.

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