Google Places – 12 Step Checklist for a Great Listing

Google Places Help is now offering a nifty, interactive “checklist” that drives SMBs through the correct help documents and in the correct order to learn the basics of creating a successful Places listing:

  

  

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Google Places - 12 Step Checklist for a Great Listing by

10 thoughts on “Google Places – 12 Step Checklist for a Great Listing”

  1. Why do I get different local search results in different browsers ? Anyone know ?
    Google Chrome is still displaying the seperate local listings here in Tampa area.
    I get a list of like 10 local maps type listings above the organic listings!

  2. This is a really nice feature; glad to see Google release it. We’ve had a slightly higher-level, but obviously less Google-centric “To Do” list as part of GetListed since we started & it’s been one of our most well-received features by users. Kudos to G.

  3. I suppose that this implies that posting to your Place page and responding to reviews could increase your rankings in the same way that posting pictures and coupons does?

  4. @dvansant:
    I wouldn’t believe that, since regular status updates on the Place Page won’t work as a quality signal, since these can be spammed like hell… Same with responding to reviews.

  5. @Sebastian

    I agree that it is not a quality signal that couldn’t be gamed. I also wouldn’t expect it to be a powerful ranking factor. However, if I’m Google then the reason I’m adding these features is to create a more robust user experience so that I can ultimately own the local profile marketplace. And, these features will only provide a more robust user experience if business owners use them. So, just like Google rewards business owners for claiming their profile and fleshing it out, it would not surprise me if they gave some token ranking benefit to owners that respond to reviews and make up to date posts.

  6. @dvansant
    Well… it won’t hurt your rankings, that’s for sure. And the goal for any SMB using the place page as serp real estate should anyway result in higher reputation… it’s so much more than just pure rankings in local search since the research cycle is multi-facetted and very much diversified over several media & even offline asist!

  7. I wonder how G will determine which Places listings to include on page 1. Still the fundamental SEO stuff, or something else?

  8. @steve
    The new ranking algo contains all of the old elements of local (citations, reviews,location prominence, place rank) + a whole dollop of traditional seo ranking factors.

  9. They are already spamming the reviews here in Tampa! The Black Hats are creating fake, keyword loaded reviews for their clients, and then responding to the fake reviews with keyword loaded “thank you for the nice review of our company”. I think Google needs to get and stay out of the “reputation business”. That’s why we have the BBB and Angie’s List, etc, etc. I think consumers can and do ask for references they can check. The current trend to optimize reputation management almost forces otherwise honest companies to cheat, just to keep up with the Black Hat enhanced listings. It really is almost pathetic all this Google Local nonsense. It USED to take a well seasoned OLD URL that played by the rules to rank, before Google allowed the Black Hats to manipulate how a company ranks.
    Google claims they hate Spam, yet they opened the door wide open to it with this Google Local crap. Go read a Black Hat Forum sometime, it is almost a joke. These people are mocking Google. It used to be if you got caught spamming or cheating, you got sandboxed. That URL was basically useless.
    Now, with the Google Local results, they are spamming away at will. Knowing IF someone turns them in and IF Google removes them, they just make another slightly different local listing in the business center, and they are no worse for wear. There is an old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
    Let’s get RID of this failed local experiment Google, and go back to the OLD way of returning search results. When I searched for a pizza in 33511 the old way, I typed in Pizza 33511, and up popped 2 pages of web sites with addresses serving the 33511 zip code. I am not stupid, and can tell by the address how far away a pizza place is. This new way of searching on Google caused me to call the exact SAME company 3 times last week, as I was shopping for an air conditioner for my home. This company had 3 listings under 3 different company names and phone numbers in the Tampa search results! All because of how easy Google makes it to spam the local search results. I remember the days when Google reigned supreme for quality search.
    Now, all you hear about is Google challengers like Blekko, Bing, etc, etc, etc. It is my humble opinion Google brought this on themselves by polluting their search results with low quality local listings, some even so cheesy they use Facebook pages and a simple Google map instead of a web page, if even THAT..
    If a gourmet cook has poor quality food, he can not cook a gourmet meal, now can he ? A good chef will throw out bad food before it gets cooked, and served to his customers. Yet Google allows the spam called Google Local to get served to it’s searchers. Go figure ?

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