Google's New Business Profile Feature - Nearby Places You Might Like

  Google has tucked a new feature into its business profiles under the reviews section called, “Nearby places you might like.”  As an employee of a small business search engine, features like this get me excited.  I am always looking for creative, new ways to link our ever-growing roster of members together in a relevant, cohesive manner.  By adding this feature, Google provides alternatives that users may not even have known to search for.  And, at the end of the day, this is exactly what a good search engine should do: bring the most relevant, useful information to the user so they can make an informed decision.   A couple of thoughts:   » The new feature doesn’t appear in every profile.  I tried five test queries this morning and then selected a profile, but the feature on... [Read Full Article]


Google Tests New Ways to Monetize LBC

Google has been testing “Sponsored Ads” as part of the Google Maps result 10-pack for the past few months. Today, one of my local business listings in San Jose, CA started showing a link for “Create enhancement.”  Google says, "Enhanced listings are being offered in limited areas, but we hope to expand soon. Because this is a limited trial, it is subject to change. We're using your feedback from this trial to improve our products and services and help local businesses grow!"     From what I can see so far, it is just like adding bling to your eBay listing. It is just a subtle little thing to enhance your profile to make it more noticeable. Google is offering a month free trial, then $25 a month after that. Take a look:   The “Get Directions” enhancement: &... [Read Full Article]


Local Business SEO - Ultimate Guide: Part 1: References/Citations

Everyday local search becomes more integrated into the old fashioned search results.  Google expanded its local search universe again recently and shows no signs of slowing.      The Google Local Business Center is so great because you can dissect a listing and really understand why it is ranked.  Not only does the business owner have the opportunity to provide details, but Google finds other sites that reference a business and includes it in the listing details.  For example, searching custom closets Broadview, IL  [Read Full Article]


Google Maps and Places

  As Google continues to integrate the local map results into the main SERPs, the more valuable a strong local profile becomes.  Google Maps and the Local Business Center are also much easier to work with than standard search results as they are much more transparent in their rankings.  With the recent implementation of “place pages,” the local search arena just got better.  Instead of just businesses Google seems to be indexing “places,” and just like local businesses, these places are being ranked.  These “places” also look just like the local business listings, the query “millennium park Chicago, il” brings us that familiar onebox business, now place, listing.     [Read Full Article]