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    SBR
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    Post Google Maps Optimization and Local SEO


    So I have been optimizing allot lately for one of my clients to get them into the 10,7 and 3 box for Google local results and thought I would give back to the community.

    Here are the things that I have found to be true from reading the Google local help forum and my own knowledge gathered over the last 6 months or so.

    Citations
    Citations: Are the number 1 thing you MUST do to get a coveted A-Z balloon for your local area. Citations are local directories that "cite" your business name along with it's address.

    Despite what others say you do NOT need to be in the Axciom or infoUSA database to achieve high rankings, although I do suggest that you at least submit your business listing to these companies for further "proof" of your business' physical location.

    Axciom and infoUSA are considered by many to be "the" trusted sources for business' physical locations, but typically take at least 6 months for them to verify and pass your information along to Google.


    Here is a list of places that I have been using for local citations:

    yellowikis.wikia.com
    merchantcircle.com
    cityslick.net
    aboutus.org
    citysquares.com
    google.com/profiles/
    getfave.com
    fastpitchnetworking.com
    superpages.com
    facebook.com
    brownbook.net
    local.yahoo.com
    wikimapia.org
    tjoos.com
    squidoo.com
    yellowpages.lycos.com
    kudzu.com
    crunchbase.com
    naymz.com
    gomylocal.com
    ibegin.com
    hotfrog.com
    ezlocal.com
    businessdirectory.bizjournals.com
    busiverse.com

    many local yellow page type sites, e.g. cityname business directories

    Some, but not all of these sites also allow you to drop links back to your site as well. My current favorite is merchantcircle.

    Reviews
    Reviews are the juice that propels your site higher in the local rankings with all other things being equal.

    Good reviews as well as negative reviews (at this time) can currently give you that little edge to push you into the top spots for google maps.


    Complete Profile
    A complete profile helps in the sense that their is literally nothing more you can add to your profile to make it any better.

    Backlinks with local specific anchor text
    I have not confirmed this yet, but I suspect that backlinks with local specific anchor text to your website can help.

    As an example "city keyword" or "keyword city" to your home page from a quality trusted external source.

    Quick question does anybody have any info on which keyword sets would produce better results?

    i.e. is "city keyword" better or is "keyword city" better or no difference?

    Summary,
    For brand new sites here is what I have found and confirmed on my own and with speaking with Google Maps Employees on the subject.

    Expect it to take 2-3 full months for a brand new site to begin ranking for your specific zipcode with all the above in place(for brand new sites).

    Expect it to take 3-5 full months for Google to include reviews and citations into your Google places account with the above in place(for brand new sites).

    Questions/Comments/Ideas/Suggestions are welcome.

    That's All For Now,
    SBR

    Comments on this post

    • KernelPanic agrees : Nice post thanks for taking the time.
    • PhilipSEO agrees : nice effort, thanks!
    • Lb1878 agrees : Good information and support. Thanks for sharing
    • googler agrees : Great article thanks!
    • jsteele823 agrees : Nice work
    • seogoat agrees : Cheers for this SBR
    • callenb agrees : Major data providers = major rep points. Thanks!
    • sanduskyseo agrees
    Last edited by jsteele823; May 8th, 2010 at 03:35 PM. Reason: added dots to URLs
  2. #2
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    Good post SBR!

    A mod should move it to the LOCAL search forum though to help people there that are trying to optimize for maps.

    infoUSA 'feeds' many of the other yellow page and biz directory sites so even though it takes awhile for the data to filter out to all those sites it's worth it to do a submission
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    SBR
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    Originally Posted by CatalysteMarketing
    Good post SBR!

    A mod should move it to the LOCAL search forum though to help people there that are trying to optimize for maps.

    infoUSA 'feeds' many of the other yellow page and biz directory sites so even though it takes awhile for the data to filter out to all those sites it's worth it to do a submission

    Completely agree with you on this @CatalysteMarketing,
    Here is a list of directories that use infoUSA as a data provider

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22business+data+provided+by+infoUS A%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    And here is a list of directories that use Acxiom as a data provider(I didn't realize the list was so big!)

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22data+provided+by+Acxiom%22&btnG= Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=
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    SBR
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    Can anybody comment on:

    Quick question does anybody have any info on which keyword sets would produce better results?

    Is "city keyword" better or is "keyword city" better or no difference?
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  9. Dancin with the devil
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    Originally Posted by SBR
    Can anybody comment on:
    Doing a quick test with our site, I noticed that the number of results does not change when entered either way. In both instances, we had the 1 map result. The only thing that changed in the top 5 results (not map listings) was our site was number 1 of the organic listings for 'keyword + city' where our site was number 2 for 'city + keyword'.

    For a little while, I was noticing that shorter, less defined queries would trigger the maps, whether it be the 10-pack, 7-pack or 3-pack. It was fairly consistent based on what I was seeing but I have not noticed that same consistency in recent weeks. The queries that used to trigger the various map listings was not triggering them all the time. A little off topic but felt it may be a little helpful.

    Thanks for posting and sharing your story.
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Chinese Proverb
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    My tests show no difference typically either and tend to show the same results.

    However I read somewhere that the average consumer will typically type keyword then city when searching. Not sure what percentage of the time that happens, but makes sense so I typically go with that order.
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  13. Philip@SearchBenefit.com
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    See also SBR's interesting related thread: a local optimization case study.
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    I've seen little to no difference in the map listing order with a local client" fha mortgage lenders bethlehem pa
    bethlehem pa fha mortgage lenders

    I have seen different returns in the serp's but usually move between 1 - 3. Then again, thats Google for you...

    Originally Posted by SBR
    Can anybody comment on:
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    SBR
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    Update

    The time length that I suggested before as being 2-3 months, upon further review and in light of this weeks update seems to be incorrect.

    The site that I am currently optimizing for is less than 45 days old and now has a #2 ranking for it's key terms.

    It is not that it takes 2-3 months but more than likely that Google Maps and Google Places take that long to re-evaluate its rankings much like Google Organic Search did years ago.

    As Google increasingly gears itself towards local search and ramps up it's internal technical team(s), I expect the same thing to happen but on a much faster scale than Google Organic did, perhaps as early as next year along with some really outstanding enhancements.

    SBR
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    It seems as if once you have one listing, getting additional local listings happens much quicker. Just my observation.
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  21. Dancin with the devil
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    Ohio, are you talking about setting up multiple listings or the same business in one location or for a company with multiple locations?

    The former is not good and will push you way down or prevent you from ranking.
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    This is what I meant. Just one business and one location (mine). But I notice it will show up for different searches.

    As an example....It is an insurance agency here in Ohio.

    Sometimes I see my site in the local business section listed for different search terms.

    As an example...Dayton Health Insurance
    Cincinnati Health Insurance
    Low Cost Ohio health insurance etc...

    Should I not be entering my site more than one time?

    Thanks
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  25. Dancin with the devil
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    It is typical for your site to show up for multiple search terms. This is a good thing. I haven't exactly figured out how Google ranks you for various terms meaning, what they look at to determine your site should be served for said search query. Proximity to where the searchers are searching vs where your business is located is certainly a top factor but the fact that you are ranking for other terms leads me to believe more is factored.

    You definitely should not be creating multiple listings under Google or any other local sites. Now if you have multiple locations (physical locations that is) than you should be creating 1 for each location.
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    OH. I thought you are allowed to create a different listing for each category in Google Small business.

    As an example, Health Care and Health Insurance Agency are two separate categories so I added my website to each one. Same information maybe with a word or phrase difference. So I should not have done that?
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  29. Dancin with the devil
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    You are saying Google Small Business... do you mean in the Google Directory or Google Local Business Center which is now Google Places?
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