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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Where does a Psychic turn when they need an answer? Google Maps

On late Monday afternoon I received a call from Elissa Heyman, a Psychic Counselor from Santa Fe, NM inquiring as to how she might show up in the Local OneBox for Psychic in Santa Fe, NM. I was intrigued that a pyschic would turn to me from results she found in Google. After a bit of due diligence to make sure that she wasn’t some sort of flim flam artist I decided to take the case.

What interested me was the fact that Google, Yahoo or SuperPages had no record of her business. She had operated out of her home for a number of years and had never registered the phone number with the phone companies as a business number. Her website, which ranked well in the organic results, had been in place since at least 2004 but she had managed to avoid being identified as a business by all of the major data collection players.

Entering her new record (as opposed to editing an existing one) in the Google Local Business Center I learned several things:

•The Business Title field allowed an almost unlimited length for her business title. When editing an existing record the length seems to be limited to some small percentage of increase but with a new record the sky seemed to be the limit.

•There was no verification of any sort required. There was no automated phone call to answer, nor post card sent with a required PIN entry. It just accepted my entry with no questions asked. Hmm….

•The record was listed in Google Maps almost immediately. I went to check Tuesday morning and the record was visible in Maps. It was not yet in the OneBox but there is every indication that the OneBox has some sort of waiting period before it ranks Maps data.

•And finally I was able to get listed with other Psychics despite the fact that a category for it doesn’t exist in the Local Business Center(details to follow).

Perhaps now I will have another resource to figure out some of Google’s more cryptic behavior. 🙂