Yam Regev has pointed out several new navigation capabilities on a business’s Place page that allows users to more easily move through a list of Places returned from a Google Maps search result. The feature is only visible when a Place Page has been accessed via the list view resulting from a Map search and is currently not visible if a Places page is accessed from the main search results page or via Places search. The feature is visible in both UK and the US and possibly more widely.
It is not clear if it is a test or permanent or will be rolled out beyond the Map results view (click to view larger):
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Place Pages Sporting New Navigation Features
by Mike Blumenthal
It’s interesting though, because that would be basically the third “spot” on a Place page where Google will present direct links to competitors’ Place pages (together with the Related Place section and the Ads in the side bar).
Yes because the only way to see it is to access via a Map’s search, it is likely that it has been there for a while. At first I thought it was only in certain countries or but it is odd that it only shows on searches from within Maps but not with Places or the main search results page.
Even though it does point out competitors, currently only if you do a broad search and only with Maps…. so it makes sense to allow a user to move “sideways” through the results rather than forcing them back to Maps….
Comment by Mike (2503 comments) — May 30, 2011 @ 2:58 pm
It seems that this is part of many Maps changes that the Google Places team is working on. I believe those changes will be gradual, starting bottom and up. It is all part of the Yearly Maps changes, so this is only the beginning. The past two weeks Google has renew its habit, calling high risk businesses verifying their location and business names.
Something tells me that in the next two weeks the Maps search for those kinds of businesses won’t be the same
As I predicted in my May 31 comment- yesterday Google unleashed May update. Results: Many Owner Verified Locksmith listings have been cut off from their Place page accounts. Meaning you can’t control your listing anymore. The online Locksmith listings are coming from other Local directories, Usually with no URL.
I don’t understand what’s Google is trying to accomplish. Why does he shutting down place page listings, but making sure an open version of those listings will stay online
As SEOs or business owners we may not like the easy access to competitors, but this is a plus for shoppers.
How should SEOs, internet marketers and business owners respond?
As I’ve always said, they need to “chase customers, not rank.” So, since your Place page is now in a line-up where you are being compared side by side with your competitor, you need to be extra diligent in making yours and your business stand out from the pack, the same as you would have to do if you had a direct competitor located around the corner from you. It’s getting back to old-fashioned marketing where being the first one on the block isn’t so important. It’s being the best that counts.
Great answer and I agree with you. It also points out that while a business needs to “look sharp” whereever they are, they in the end do not control 3rd party resources. That means that whether it is Google or Facebook, these marketing efforts need to support not replace investments in core assets.
Comment by Mike (2503 comments) — June 1, 2011 @ 2:23 pm