Category Archives: Google+ Local

Branded Local Search Results: Google Vs. Bing

With the rollout of Google Search Plus Your World, there has been a great deal of discussion about whether Google’s actions are a basis for antitrust. I tend to agree with internet lawyer Eric Goldman’s assessment:

From a legal standpoint, I don’t think Search Plus Your World adds very much to the antitrust complaints against Google (and some of the complaints, especially Twitter’s, seem more like sour grapes than bona fide concerns). It’s just another example where Google is cross-promoting its services, which is not inherently wrong and often can improve the consumer experience. However, if Google can’t prove to us that each of its specific choices to integrate Google+ are in our best interests given the widespread speculation that they weren’t, Google creates a major wedge in the trust relationship with users–and invites judges and regulators to impute bad motives to Google if they want.

The issues revolve more around user trust than antitrust. The full impact of the change has yet to be felt in Local BUT a number of other recent efforts by Google to cross promote their own properties have started to impact local results.

Here is a branded local search for Barbara Oliver Buffalo. Google has made sure that Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry’s local brand and website are readily accessible from search. She certainly seems to be benefiting from Google’s brand focus.

However, her site, like many SMB sites, uses an embedded Google MyMap on the directions page and and offers an embedded YouTube video. She also has a very lightly used Plus Page. That hardly seems to warrant the high ranking that each of those pages have received. There are seven links to Google properties above the fold that lead to Maps, Places, YouTube, Plus and MyMaps. Clearly Google is also cross promoting their other properties but one certainly has to question whether the searcher is best served by these results.

I have captured a Bing search result for comparison purposes so that you can decide which engine returns the most relevant results for the branded search. Let me know which one you think offers more relevant results.

(click to see larger)

To see the Bing screen shot of the branded search for Barbara Oliver Buffalo….
Continue reading Branded Local Search Results: Google Vs. Bing

Google+ To Have Business Profile Pages

Jeff Huber, Google VP of Local and Commerce, has indicated that Google+, at some point in the near future will include the option for business profile page. Here is his comment:

And pre-emptively answering a question — yes, we will have (smb) business profile pages on Google+. I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them *great*, and we’re coding as fast as we can.

He has additionally indicated that he will be using Google+ as his primary voice (not Twitter) and that, if we let him know, he will make invites available for the Google+ field trial to anyone that needs one.

I am not sure what I think about the idea of having a second SMB profile in addition to an already claimed Places page (it is early, I am on vacation and typing on a bad cell signal on my iPhone but wanted to get this out).

Obviously a large number of small businesses have yet to figure out Places and the idea of a second “Places” is somewhat daunting unless it is well integrated into the existing processes. In the end, I suppose that it comes down to the benefits that an SMB would derive as to whether it will be worth it. It is certainly an interesting idea.

If nothing else, Jeff putting up with my tweaks and providing this information, demonstrates the possibility of a coming transparency from the folks at Google Local (hooray!!).