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Google Maps has a method that is different for ranking. They recently instituted coupons. Y Local features Ratings and testimonial opportunities.
Its all nice...but I've never seen much traffic from any of them. Now maybe that is peculiar to my business site. I don't know.
The site is regionally optimized for DC, Maryland and Virginia. That covers a much larger region then any of the Local/Maps tools adequately service. The site has been in all three versions since they started.
Regardless, since the beginning of the calendar year my log analyzer shows a smidgeon less than 1% of all search traffic coming from the aggregate of the 3 methods.
My normal search traffic typically has about 1/3 of the searches showing reasonable combinations of a relevant business term for the business and industry and a relevant geographic description. The majority of the geo descriptions are for variations on Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC but they also include nearby towns, smaller cities and counties. (All referenced in the site).
In any case that makes about 1% of search traffic and 3% of relevant search traffic.
What do you see?
Google Local/Maps has been a bit of a disappointment so far. Maybe Google should drop the maps/local confusion. I have not met anyone who thinks this is not confusing. Local is LOCAL, maps mean MAPS to most.
I must agree with that assessment.
Local to me means coupons (which they added), reviews, comparisons, nearby businesses, etc.
While they have this at the detail screen, it's not easy to compare the information across different businesses, or just to find out what interesting events are nearby.
Google local is good mapping software, but it doesn't seem like a comprehensive destination site for local users.