| 5:53 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)|
The answer seems clear to me. For many local searches, Google feels that Places give a better and more dependable result than the classic organic results. And after all, those Places Pages are created by local businesses themselves - they're not just pulled out of the air willy-nilly.
It's certain that there are still games going on in Places pages, but local organic results often seem a lot worse to me, and with all the location names that exist, it seems almost impossible to clean up organic local results.
Let's face it, the average user doesn't care whether the link they click on is organic, or Places, or even an ad, as long as they get accurate help for their particular search.
| 11:35 am on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)|
I agree with Alex. Some of us actually use G for real-time NTN/Buzztime game searches on wi-fi laptops in the bar and it just peeves the heck out of us when all this useless nonsense comes up on the first screen when you are searching for specific geographical question info FAST! :p
Do you suppose they rank themselves based upon the number of ads above the fold line?
| 5:13 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)|
If useful information isn't near the top of the page, then Google's idea isn't working well. And I agree, in many situations it isn't.
I'd say it's a first attempt to cope with the flood of local spam that cropped up several years ago.
| 11:37 pm on Dec 21, 2011 (gmt 0)|
There's are 3 columns. Move all place matches to under the map already in the right hand column. And the top 3 fat adverts can go there too - under the places on the right. Plus whilst on the subject, why does google penalise paid back linking but encourage paid Adwords to get on the front page?! Also total nonsense.
If you are searching for a city location then 7 places right in the very city centre probably isn't what you are going to be looking for either.
Sorry - relatively new to SEO and the more I learnt the more Google frustrates me!
| 10:41 pm on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Alex997 - your first lesson, if you are new - is that google is shoving organic down the page now - so SEO is 100% irrelevant. Get out of it and do something productive before you rank at the top and then get shunted down by google ads and other google properties.
Google is for google - not for site owners.
If you have a business model based around search - kick it in the teeth before you get too deep because google dominates and they will destroy you by reducing the traffic they send over time.
Remember - google is the biggest, they have most search traffic by far. Google are in the process of destroying traffic sent to sites in the natural serps by pushing the natural serps down.
Get out while you can - IF you need to rely on search.
| 11:42 pm on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Luckily 99% of our rapidly growing new business is word of mouth referrals, google SERPs is just a yet uptapped way of expanding even faster :-)
| 11:58 pm on Dec 22, 2011 (gmt 0)|
Can't offer any advice on the Places,* but with the right ad blocker you'll have a lovely swath of absolutely empty white space in that right-hand column. When subjects like this come up, I have to detour to another browser just to see what people are talking about ;)
* Though I would love to know why my home town has "places" for accountants but not for restaurants. Seems backward somehow.
| 10:53 pm on Dec 23, 2011 (gmt 0)|
|Sorry - relatively new to SEO and the more I learnt the more Google frustrates me! |
No need to get frustrated. The FTC and the European Trade Union are about to rip them a new one, and precisely on these very issues.
In the mean time, stop using this search engine yourself and introduce Yahoo & Bing to your family and Friends. You'll find that most, will have spybars and/or other G services running in the background they will not have a clue about. Help them clean their machines as well as fix their home page... it is what every responsible webmaster should be doing nowdays.
| 12:58 am on Dec 24, 2011 (gmt 0)|
MR Fewkes and Web_speed: Amen! :)
Would be interesting if they could break Adwords, adsense & Google up like they did Banks and Investment firms in the 70's and telecoms in the 90's. All the employees swear they don't have access to each others departments, but SOMEONE high up must and is coordinating the compartments.
I'm peeved too with all the highest ranked dictionary sites not putting at least part of the definition in the description like they used to. Makes you have to actually CLICK on the link to get an inkling ;). Just saying, cause it really slows down your search time when you're Borging on trivia.
Overall, I think, like previously alluded, G is trying to slowly replace EVERYTHING on the net with their own content, then they don't need to share the adsense revenue. It started with maps, then ads, then all the images which they steal and grudgingly let people see where they come from, then news, now local, then as a last resort access to everyone elses content which they might have missed replacing yet, just as a sideline. By Dec 2012 they intend to control EVERYTHING, EVERYONE sees on the internet, and maybe TV, to be the all in all. Bwa-ha-ha! :)