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Google Places Search Results

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last few months, you will probably have started to see googles local or places results appearing in the search engine results. These are the listings with a red icon next to them with an A, B, C etc inside and a map off to the side with corresponding icons pinned to a Google map. So what are they and why are they now appearing?

simple internet diagram

Firstly just to be clear, these are called google places listings now but are just the newer version of what was previously called google local listings, they can be added by anyone who has a website, all you need to do is visit the google local pages and list your website, fill in as much detail as you can, including a description, opening hours, pictures and of course make sure you have that little pin in the right spot on the map.

So how do you go about getting listed? That’s the easy part, you just log in to your google account and add the listing, then leave it for a few weeks and if you are lucky, or in a small town or uncompetitive niche, you may find that you start to appear straight away. If not you just need to keep going back in and adapting the ad, make sure you adhere to the guidelines though, breaking those may mean you get a penalty of some sort and then find it even harder to start appearing in the future.

I must admit that I am still trying to work out exactly when and why the local listings are displayed for a given search term, you can click here for a site with more regular updates as this does not seem to follow any specific logic in the same way that traditional seo does. For example if I search builders with a UK town name, I always seem to get local listings, this makes sense seeing as most builders do work within a set geographic region, due to time and cost implications. However, if I search for pizza without a town name I still get localised listings, obviously this is due to my browser being set with a region and therefore the results are being set accordingly.  Other times though I can search for a term and I see no local listings at all, just the normal SERP’s and Adwords. Then again, sometimes I get about 8 listings and sometimes just three, sometimes the map is in the main page, and sometimes it’s in the side bar. I’m not sure if it is still settling in, or if there is some kind of logic behind this, so I will keep an eye and report back further if I find the answers.

Of course, if you are unsure about doing this, you can always find a professional SEO company to add it for you. If you do use a company, you may be best finding someone local to you, as they will most likely have done it for other companies in your local area, so if you are in Wiltshire find a wiltshire company, or even better if you can find someone in your local town, so if you are in swindon and can find a swindon seo all the better.

Written by stevie B

02/10/2011 at 11:01