Greetings and Gidday all
Been on an extended (long overdue) holiday and missed all this Google maps local search stuff getting up and running in OZ.
And it's gutted my organic rankings in a number of popular search phrases where a locality is included (critical in travel and tourism).
As far as I can tell, most local map results are currently coming from a global media giant (and it looks like they trawled mine and other established local directory style sites to get seed listings) who is partnering Google, so organic results for existing and other newer relevant web pages are pushed below the monitor eyeball line or out of the top 10 natural searches.
Iv'e doubled checked at Google maps local business centre, submit, groups/forums, TOS etc., and can't clarify whether sending a Bulk Business Feed from my Google local business centre account is permissible, or failing that, how I become a "third party data provider".
It all seems targeted at an individual business submitting themselves.
So my question is does anyone know how to become a Google maps local business "third party data provider", or can I just send a bulk feed, and see what happens?
Or should I just tell our customers to go to multinationalbehemoth.com.au/submitlisting/ and fill in the form themselves if they want to appear?
Oh FWIW, we've been established since 1997 and this is the first development I see (as opposed to algo changes/updates, adwords, sponsored listings and all the other "monitization" schemes), that has the potential to seriously impact on our ability to earn a modest living from the web, if the bulk feed/third party data provider option isn't available to us.
Thanks in advance for any insight