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How to Show Up as a Map in the Local Search One Box
up to 10 businesses listed in first page of results
DXL




msg:3558313
 12:00 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

The party is officially over. It was bad enough to be the #1 result for a local search, and have to deal with three competitors being listed with a map regardless of how poorly their sites were optimized. Google has now pushed sponsored listings away from the top of the page, and is listing up to 10 businesses in the local results.

Despite having the top spot in the organic results, now I don't even show up in the ten local results listed. I was just starting to tolerate being overlookd for three less experienced companies, now I'm the 11th name they'll see. Anyone else affected by this?

 

gosman




msg:3558330
 1:00 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Exactly the opposite ;-)

Marcia




msg:3558331
 1:03 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>listing up to 10 businesses in the local results.

Which can be gamed by those who want to.

ken_b




msg:3558341
 1:15 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing a variety of serp styles.

Sometimes there are 1 or 2 paid listings at the top of the page.

Then some serps show 3 organic listings followed by a map and 10 local results, then more organics.

But other serps show the paid (if any) listings and then a map and 10 local results, followed by the organics.

Robert Charlton




msg:3558342
 1:20 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

That list of A-J results in red boxes, plus a "More Results" red flag appears to be a formidable wall up at the top, but if you look at how businesses got there, it may not be that difficult.

The actual map isn't much larger than before, if at all... there are just more lines of listings next to it. This makes it easier for you to get on the list.

I don't even show up in the ten local results listed

If you're not listed in Google Maps, you should be. Local listing critieria appear to be different for different business categories. On many, location and local recommendations can count for a lot. Location is hard to change... but, if you look at things like recommendations, you'll see it may not take too many.

Definitely take a look at this thread....

How To Get My Business To Show Up As A Map In Google SERPs
Maps at the top of Google's SERPs
[webmasterworld.com...]

DXL




msg:3558402
 2:57 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Which can be gamed by those who want to.

That's debatable. In November when we were discussing ways to improve how one shows up on the local business results, I started following a few suggestions. The biggest was getting myself included on a variety of local directories, especially those that I noticed high-ranking local competitors were in. At that time I wasn't showing on the initial local results page in the SERPs, but a week ago, I managed to land myself the top spot.

After a few days, I completely vanished from the local results altogether. I'm not sure if this is related, but this coincides with the timing of changing locations within the same city (the main phone number changed, but the old number still redirects to the new one).

Robert Charlton




msg:3558423
 3:55 am on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

After a few days, I completely vanished from the local results altogether. I'm not sure if this is related, but this coincides with the timing of changing locations within the same city (the main phone number changed, but the old number still redirects to the new one).

There's been some discussion in the Local Search [webmasterworld.com] forum about the importance of consistency in phone numbers with regard to the way most local search systems align data. Possibly you have both numbers listed in various online data, and that inconsistency caused you to drop out.

See this discussion...

The importance of a consistent phone number
is it the cosmic glue of universal data?
[webmasterworld.com...]

There are, btw, companies that will "cleanse" your local data for you and submit to the main local directories.

There's some good discussion about local search data, which may be of interest, in this thread....

Mainstream Press becomes aware of Local Search
US News & World Report
[webmasterworld.com...]

Unfortunately, some of the referenced articles are no longer available online.

Robert Charlton




msg:3558918
 12:25 am on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just a note that these listings have been added not just to local business results, but also to what I'd call travel results, mostly outside the US. Google still describes them, though, as "business results." They are local, and they are map related.

I'm also noting on some of the travel results that when you add modifiers to certain searches, Google will display several organic results, usually three, above the map and list of ten.

On one search I tried, though, searching without the modifier brought three results for authoritative guides to the subject up above the map... and adding the modifier apparently disambiguated the search and a map came up to the top.

As I just noted in the Position #6 discussion, Google seems to have rolled out a bunch of new Universal Search results with this current update... and this expanded map and variable positioning is apparently one of them.

Adding a modifier or extra modifier in some US local business searches will also cause three organic results to appear above the map.

I'm noticed that the #4 positioning for the Universal Search feature is similar to what's happening on some searches with news results.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:27 am (utc) on Jan. 27, 2008]

Lorel




msg:3559259
 10:42 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

How do you rank for local generic results? If you don't rank well in regular results you can't hope to rank well in the local business results either.

Have you changed your address recently? If so that can result in a drop in rank in local business results for several months - been there, done that.

SEOPTI




msg:3559260
 10:52 pm on Jan 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

If you don't rank in regular results (-950 or -30) you can still rank in google maps, so it's not true what you are saying.

wdny




msg:3559315
 2:17 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello,

I'm wandering if anybody know, if any method exists to place business in local business listings on first page of Goggle results. I realised that recently Google changed number of website listings. Before it was three and now its ten. Anybody knows how Google determine which website goes to first 10 and which is not. Is there are any optimization available for that?

I appreciate you response.

Thank you,

Robert Charlton




msg:3559398
 5:04 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm wandering if anybody know, if any method exists to place business in local business listings on first page of Goggle results.

wdny - With regard to the map results, I again suggest you take a look at....

How To Get My Business To Show Up As A Map In Google SERPs
Maps at the top of Google's SERPs
[webmasterworld.com...]

To very briefly summarize, you need to have a physical location and phone number in a city, be listed in Google Maps, be consistently listed in directories from which Google draws data, and have good reviews from (trusted?) local sources.

There are several other threads I've also recommended for your reading, along with some regular reading in the WebmasterWorld Local Search forum.

I should mention, btw, that if you don't have an actual physical location in a city, you may have a hard time faking it. Google's got so many cross-references now that I think creating a brick and mortar establishment, with a good local reputation, out of thin air would be tricky at best.

Sites that rank organically are ranking by traditional SEO methods... ie, page title, content, site navigation, and inbound links. Location names, of course, would be part of this optimization.

The map results may in part be a shot at nationally-based, geo-organized, vertical directory type sites. It will be interesting to see whether searchers accustomed to using these will be pulled away by by the more prominent Local Map results at the top... and also, if they are not, whether Google will eventually make these map results less prominent.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:16 am (utc) on Jan. 28, 2008]

wdny




msg:3559413
 6:18 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you for replying. I do have physical location and I can find my listings on other pages of local business results but not in the first page of top ten. That is why i start thinking maybe there are some techniques which can be helpful, some sort optimization for local search results.

incrediBILL




msg:3559419
 6:50 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

If the Google 10 local results weren't insult to injury, in many results I'm seeing local.yahoo.com as the #1 result which pushes all the small guys down.

Looks like the big boys are finally making a more aggressive push for local and us niche local directories are about to take it in the shorts.

DXL




msg:3559480
 9:51 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

How do you rank for local generic results? If you don't rank well in regular results you can't hope to rank well in the local business results either.

That's completely incorrect, as sites that aren't remotely optimized or ranked well are sometimes ranked very well in the local results.

Have you changed your address recently? If so that can result in a drop in rank in local business results for several months - been there, done that.

I changed addresses, though I don't understand how Google would have determined that. My site still displays my old address, only the phone company itself knows that I moved. I can't understand why they would have simply deleted my listing, rather than update it, assuming they did have access to the phone records.

Whoa




msg:3559602
 11:56 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't do much with local search but I do recall one of the panelists at PubCon saying that it was easy to rank highly.

He said:

1 - Look at the map that comes up for your city

2 - Find the exact midpoint of that map.

3 - Get a mailbox (PO Box, Mailbox, etc.) address as close to that midpoint as you can.

4 - Place that address on your site and display it very prominently.

If you are closer than any other business, you will be #1. This Pubcon panelist had experimented with the technique and said "it works every time."

I'm not sure if this was for all search engines or not. I did recently look at Yahoo results for a few different verticals and it was very apparent that the company in the middle of the map got the highest ranking.

It's a really stupid way to rank local companies so I almost hope that everybody uses this technique and games the engines to the point where the search engine companies realize how stupid it is and come up with a much better methodology.

XtendScott




msg:3559725
 3:02 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I changed addresses, though I don't understand how Google would have determined that. My site still displays my old address, only the phone company itself knows that I moved.

Phone companies are one of the main resources of local listings.

Lorel




msg:3559766
 4:00 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I changed addresses, though I don't understand how Google would have determined that. My site still displays my old address, only the phone company itself knows that I moved. I can't understand why they would have simply deleted my listing, rather than update it, assuming they did have access to the phone records.

There is an option to change your address in your listing--to view the listing and click on the "more" link and then "edit listing". It takes several months for the changes to show up however. Google now has my site listed twice. They must be picking my old address up from a local directory.


I do recall one of the panelists at PubCon saying that it was easy to rank highly.He said:

1 - Look at the map that comes up for your city
2 - Find the exact midpoint of that map.
3 - Get a mailbox (PO Box, Mailbox, etc.) address as close to that midpoint as you can.
4 - Place that address on your site and display it very prominently.
If you are closer than any other business, you will be #1.

This isn't the case in my area. I'm about 5 miles from down town yet I rank #1 for local results in my city (with several other sites located downtown), and I'm #2 and #3 for the map list (although that changes a bit when you view the whole list).

I"ve consistently ranked #1 in local results because I optimize my home page for my city. And this is in spite of the fact I moved my business this last year and it took several months for Google to catch up.

wdny




msg:3559785
 4:14 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just realised one thing. The websites listed in top ten results of local business results, not necessary should be in top ten of local results. I checked and they are locating only on 5th page of Google's Local Business Search. In other words, Google not showing top ten of local results, it is selecting even from 5th page and placing on first page of local results. I found my business on 27th page of the results, but if i specify zip code next to keyword, then I'm stating number 1. Still it is in Manhattan, and there are many zip codes, my business in middle of the city, and its only on 27th page. You can find some other website which staying in top 10 only on 4th, 5th or 7th pages of local results.

incrediBILL




msg:3559867
 6:04 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Got up today and started checking around a few major cities and 4-6 of their top 10 results are for Fedex-Kinko's or the UPS Store which are totally useless local search results in my niche.

Ahhh... I feel much better, for now ...

Lorel




msg:3559907
 6:39 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)


Got up today and started checking around a few major cities and 4-6 of their top 10 results are for Fedex-Kinko's or the UPS Store which are totally useless local search results in my niche.
Ahhh... I feel much better, for now ..

This is because some have done as suggested by the PubCon person--getting a fake mailbox downtown.

Silvery




msg:3559921
 6:58 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

You need good rankings in Google Maps in order to be in the top ten one-box results appearing on their regular web search results pages under their Universal Search page format.

The two main factors to get good ranking in Google Maps for your biz listing are: location near to the search area centroid, and high user ratings.

As others here mentioned, if you aren't already near the centroid for your area's most common searches (in most cases, you'd want to be near the center point of your town, or your major metropolitan area's main city). If you're not, you could indeed get a post office box located closer to the center -- I'd actually recommend you use a mail store for this rather than public post office, because you're more likely to get a real street address which Google would be more likely to use for pinpointing purposes.

One thing to note if you do get a post box address: if you're keeping your existing street address elsewhere in public directories, you could be diluting out your potential ranking factors since they'd start being focused on two separate listings rather than just one. Something to keep in mind!

The other big factor is ratings -- it's beneficial to have numerous, positive ratings from a variety of business directories. Google pools a number of yellow pages and other directories' information into their Map listings, and the compilation of positive ratings helps them to select which are the top ten listings for any given area search.

fom2001uk




msg:3560030
 9:13 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is just awful.

Awful for businesses who used to rank well under local search.
Awful for the end users who are getting many poor results (some of the listings in the top 10 are a joke).

Not good enough, Google.

Hopefully when users vote with their clicks (and don't click), they'll see sense.

BTW anyone who thinks getting near the top of those top local business listings is going to produce anywhere near as much traffic as a top 3 organic spot, is deluding themselves.

This is no replacement for organic local search. Not even close.

DXL




msg:3560091
 10:41 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

BTW anyone who thinks getting near the top of those top local business listings is going to produce anywhere near as much traffic as a top 3 organic spot, is deluding themselves.

This is no replacement for organic local search. Not even close.

I disagree, to an extent. I don't think local results produce the same kind of traffic that being at the top of the organic results, but I've personally witnessed a decrease in local leads ever since Google first implemented the map along with three local competitors. It's one thing to notice that a paid sponsor link is only getting 5-20% of people who perform a search. Its another thing when your result is now preceded by ten competitors with phone numbers immediately available. If it was bad before, this is much worse.

bouncybunny




msg:3561717
 6:02 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I couldn't see this mentioned elsewhere, but I've noticed that the local business results for some industries appear after the first 3 organic search results.

Actually I've only found this in one case so far, but it's an interesting one.

<Edit> Two cases now. Both completely different industries and different countries, and both appear where the '4th' organic SERP would be.</edit>

Robert Charlton




msg:3561757
 7:32 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I couldn't see this mentioned elsewhere, but I've noticed that the local business results for some industries appear after the first 3 organic search results

bouncybunny - I mention this in my post above, in relationship to disambiguation of what I call "travel" results, and also on US business results.

I'm also noting on some of the travel results that when you add modifiers to certain searches, Google will display several organic results, usually three, above the map and list of ten.

On one search I tried, though, searching without the modifier brought three results for authoritative guides to the subject up above the map... and adding the modifier apparently disambiguated the search and a map came up to the top....

Adding a modifier or extra modifier in some US local business searches will also cause three organic results to appear above the map.


bouncybunny




msg:3561841
 11:24 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

bouncybunny - I mention this in my post above, in relationship to disambiguation of what I call "travel" results, and also on US business results.

Ah, sorry I missed that. The ones I found were for legal companies and builders.

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