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Google Maps - citations



1:22 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi there I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on what the best way to get into google maps is?

I have submitted a business listing and am pleased it is in there. However i was wondering what helps it get higher up the listings for a phrase related to what the business does?
I have also noticed some citations have appeared before others from directories, yet the ones that are not there but are live on directories have been cached.

I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on this matter?

I hope i have put this in the right forum, appoligies if it is not.


5:37 pm on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There are a handful of ways that Google associates a business with relevant keyword phrases.

When you registered the business in Google Places, you should have added Categories which were apropos of the business - as many as are appropriate. Beyond category names, the description field and additional fields can be used to list products/services/amenities associated with your company -- all of these lend keyword relevancy.

On you company's website itself you should also add keyword phrases which describe what your company does -- producs and services.

After doing all those things, links/citations may enable your company to rank in relation to other companies targeting the same keyword phrases.

It can take months for citations from various sources to impact your Google Maps listing. Submission of information to a directory that feeds into Google Maps may take a while before Google recieves and update from that info provider.

Submitting and updating business profiles with top online yellow pages as well as other business directory sites may all contribute to your presence in Google Maps.

Further, other online promotional efforts can help you, such as issuing press releases with links, developing widgets or other content that goes viral, doing blogging, as well as various social media campaigns.


2:27 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I put a few directory listings in over a week and was wondering if this was a good or bad thing? i have read spreadijng it out over time is a good thing rather than trying to get citations in from different places in all at once?

I was just wondering why some take longer than others in Google to show up as citations even though the pages are cached?

I guess you are right it can take 2-3 months.

Does anyone have any general big do's and dont's for increasing google maps listing strength?


3:21 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

You can only check the caching of pages in the main Google search results -- not within Google Maps. And, there's some indications that Google Maps' data store is separate from main Google, even though they share info.

Further, there is a big difference between the pages Google uses for citation merely through spidering, versus the data feeds they get directly from their formal data partnerships.

To answer your latest questions:

Dos: Follow Google Maps guidelines. Also follow Google's overall Webmaster Guidelines. Insure your company is listed with all major online directories. Do the many, classic tactics for improving site rankings through SEO.

Don'ts: Don't use long, abnormal Category names in Google Maps - use only phrases which describe the type of business, and don't include any city names or locality names in the Category. Don't use a spammy-looking business name as the title of the listing in Google Places - use the actual business name and use the same business name in all other directory listings on other sites. Use the same phone number on all sites. Don't do any other spammy behavior prohibited by webmaster guidelines.


12:46 pm on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi there, many thanks for another reply.

I meant that the directories are displaying our citation live on their website and that page has been cached. However Google citations is not picking it up yet, from what you've said it looks like it can take 2-3 months to get in?

Many thanks for your help if you have any more tips on how i can strengthen my business listing i would be happy to know.


9:16 pm on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It has been mentioned here that the format of addresses has some significance also.

123 Main Street
123 Main ST
123 Main St.

To humans they appear equivalent. Not to Google it's been said. The US Post office and those following their lead prefer the bolded version. Going to the data sources and making them uniform helps unify the data sources secondary content (reviews, comments, pictures, etc) on Google maps too.


11:16 pm on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I meant that the directories are displaying our citation live on their website and that page has been cached.

Different data providers have different contracts with Google. By that I mean that Directory A might have the contract but it only agrees to supply the name, address, category, URL but it does not supply "premium" fields that, say, list the company's products. Directory B might only provide reviews & ratings. The rest will be scraped from anywhere, sometimes resulting in weird errors you read about.

However, ranking within the onebox is not easy to decipher. For every tip you read, you will find top rankers who haven't used that technique. In the serps I watch, the onebox nearly always has the locality in the title tag and I know that most of them have other business names. When I switch the words around, e.g. <locality> <occupation>, there is no onebox! These serps are dominated by owner submissions.

But when I switch to other categories, the onebox sites do not show the locality in the title tag at all. However, the organic rankings do show the locality in the title tags. These are mostly data provider submissions.

You could say that there are different algos for different categories, or for owner submissions versus datafeed submissions.


8:26 am on Jul 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for your points everyone.

I guess it's going to take 1-2 months to get Google seeing all of my directory submissions for my business.

I have also read that having user reviews is quite powerful, especially if in the text of the review it mentions the search phrase?


2:30 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hoople - yes, having addresses be fairly consistent in data sources helps reduce canonicalization errors. However, Google Maps would likely not have trouble with the examples you provided of variations in address display, even though it's still desireable to be as consistent as possible.

Sometimes business and street names are harder to interpret when discovered on a webpage. For instance:

Houston's Restaurant, 10 Colorado Avenue, Dallas, Tx

In cases like that, consistency is a must. (Using hCard Microformat can also sharply reduce the chances of misinterpretation.)

Chr1sS30 - user reviews are indeed a valuable component, but there's a whole lot more complexity involved than merely having a review mention a search phrase. You'd likely be better off allowing reviews to grow naturally or else read up on them more deeply. In any case, that's a subject worthy of a completely new/separate thread here on the forums.


3:14 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is anyone else noticing a huge delay in citations showing up? I know that when you submit via the 2 main mass submission providers it can take 2 - 3 months.

However I personally did a TON of hand submissions to a bunch of the usual suspects for several accounts back in April and not one single citation has hit any of my client's Place pages!

None of my accounts have any new citations showing up from ANYWHERE else lately either. I've had several other local optimization consultants tell me the same thing.

It's weird because I'm still getting top rankings all over the place for most KWs - however for primary keywords in UBER competitive markets, you still usually need citations to get on page one.

Someone speculated awhile back that Google would ultimately want to be THE data source and would at some point stop pulling citations from other sources. But somehow I don't think that's happening yet. (Especially in light of all the weird data merge problems that continue to happen.)

One leading local guru told me that he thinks Google may still me counting the citations you have out in the wild, just not adding them to the Place page where WE can see them.

Anyone have any other ideas or insights?

Linda Buquet


3:43 am on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It makes sense that Google would follow that pattern. First because that is what they have done in the past with Page rank and also back links. They never show what they have up to date. Also there are many trying to figure Google's local search listings and how to manipulate local search for their businesses and clients. It makes sense that Google would want to obscure its methods.

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