Google Places 2011 – Eight Predictions For the Very Unpredictable Local Search Engine LeaderOctober 20, 2021
My Google Alert is going crazy under the keyword I most care about: Google Places. There’s been another spotting of possible new design changes being tested or previewed in Podunk Iowa. The pundits are scribbling in their blogs and Twitter. The SEM experts are quaking in their boots. What will this next change do to or for their clients.
Tags, Preview, Instant, Boost, no more 7 pack, integration of regular search and Google Places, new rules, new rules thrown out with old rules back in force. And with each change the algo goes crazy. Companies that had enjoyed great ranking can’t be found. Companies who haven’t even claimed their listings are number one. One thing for sure, the changes won’t stop because we hung up a new calendar scrape google results. What might Google do in 2011? Here are my top eight predictions for changes in Google Places next year.
1. Google Places will not only continue to dominate as the most critical advertising engine on or off the web in 2011, but it will actually grow in influence to the point that Uncle Sam will take a look at whether this is monopolistic or not. The government may already be considering the issue, but in 2011 there will be at minimum rumblings and rumors of intervention.
2. Google knows full well that this could be the case, and will start taking more steps to avoid government action. This year it would seem clear that their decision to show third party reviews (like Yelp, Yahoo, and City Search) above reviews created by Google Account holders would seem to validate their wide open eyes about monopoly complaints. One such step will probably be to change the algorithm to give other local search engines and directories higher visibility under local SMB categories.
3. Google will crack down hard on violations of their Google Places Rules. In particular the key word stuffing of the company name and fake locations.
4. Reviews will dominate the ranking battle on Google Places. As usual it will be impossible or nearly so to determine how Google is scoring this game. But their announcement that they will potentially pick up reviews from any source that properly marks up those reviews will result in a host of review sites hoping to get scraped.
If you own a business, and you haven’t heard of Google Places, then you’re losing out. So many people concentrate on getting on page one of Google’s organic or PPC results, but people often overlook one of the easiest ways you can end up on page one. Google Places is Google’s free business listing service. This service allows business owners to create profiles for their business that can include their business name, location, pictures, hours of operation, phone number, website, videos, and it will even put you on the map… literally! By creating a Google Places account, you are also automatically placing your business on Google Maps.
When someone does a search in Google, organic and paid search results display, as well as local Google places listings. The geo-targeting is based on your computer’s IP address, and several other factors. This is extremely powerful for small, local businesses since many cannot compete with larger corporations that have endless marketing budgets and resources. With a targeted effort, small businesses can quickly become top dog in Google Places. Here are a few tips to help you rank higher in Google Places results.
Google has begun implementing changes to its algorithm that will affect all business owners with websites and blogs, particularly those relying on online advertising for their revenues.
In the first quarter of this year, Google, the world’s leading search engine, moved to a focus on websites offering high quality content as a gauge for indexing websites.
This resulted in major changes to the search results it showed, effectively eliminating the so-called “content farms” from the top page rankings. The sites most affected were those that collect content from other sources just to gain web traffic rather than those sites offering original, quality content.
When it comes to ranking on a Google search, the result placement of your website for a keyword search is key. In Google search engine results placement, the top spot normally elicits 20 to 30 percent of the clicks on that page. Those occupying the second and third spot attract some five to ten percent of the clicks.