If you are looking for information on Ranking in Google Maps you might want to view these:
•SMXEast Presentation: A patent review of Maps Ranking Factors
•Ranking Factors in Google Maps – Cracking the Code SMX Local
•10 Likely Ranking Factors of Google’s Local Search Algorithm
We know that Google is using KML files and Geo Sitemaps to establish location and legitimacy for bricks and mortar businesses. Could it also have more importance on ranking than we currently know?
Carter Maslan, VP of Maps, has indicated that businesses should start using KML files in his interviews with Greg Sterling & Eric Enge.
Eric Enge: I first heard about KML a while back and I have seen some stuff suggesting that KML would allow you to provide a deeper level of metadata about your business. I believe people have talked about using this within the context of the sitemap files, is that something that is useful for people to do?
Carter Maslan: Yes, it helps a lot in knowing the precise geographic location that is being described by a page so it is definitely good to have a sitemap that references a KML file with an accurate description of the entities referenced geographically.
Eric Enge: Right, the sitemap file is something that is authenticated, and therefore the KML file would be by implication authenticated.
Carter Maslan: Correct. It helps both from that perspective and simply just knowing that there is additional information about that place, and that it is also correlated with that web page, helps.
As Martijn Beijk pointed out in a previous comment: if the Local Business Center = 2, then a Bulk upload +KML file + a geo sitemap + Webmaster Central = 2 as well. Whether that math is exactly correct, KML process does seem to convince Google of the legitimacy of a bulk upload and increases the authority of the business listing in Google’s eyes.
The KML process should be a standard part of the Local Search Marketing arsenal when using bulk uploads to create business listings in Maps.
Martijn has written an excellent tutorial on creating a KML and a GeoSitemap for Google’s Webmaster Central. I tested Martijn’s process using the Mike Test to determine if I can learn it or not. I can report that it passed my test.
Here is a summary of the steps involved to complete the needed steps: