Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Google Maps: Enhanced Map View and other tidbits
Google has introduced an enhanced business listing Map view in Google Maps that they have referred to as “1000 is the new 10” in the Lat-Long blog announcing the rollout. The new Map view provides an additional layer of dots that indicate that there are more relevant results than can be shown on one page.
While Google is in the process of passing Mapquest in total visits, user engagement with Maps has historically been shallow. Mark Law of Mapquest noted in a November interview that: MapQuest also has a deeper level of user engagement as demonstrated by 113% more pages viewed per visitor per month than Google maps and visitors spending 78% more minutes (13.8 compared to 7.8 minutes) on MapQuest verses Google Maps.
This appears to be an attempt to educate users about the depth of information available in Maps and encourage them to dig a little deeper into the product.
Maps offers two views of business listing data, the Maps view which is the default view upon entering Maps directly and the text view visible upon entering Maps via the Local 10 Pack. This new pin dense view is only visible when entering Maps directly, not in the text view that is the default view when entering Maps via the Local 10 Pack.
In related Maps news, Google rolled out an introductory Local Business Center video tutorial and a new LBC glossary over the past few days as well.
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I wonder if they have a unique treatment for “come to you” type businesses, I haven’t seen one? Without a different set of rules by business category they are going to have difficulty showing all the business listings on a map, as the only Lat/Lon available for many of these types of businesses is a zip centroid based on that businesses phone number. We find that many “service area, or come to client type) businesses work out of their home, truck or van these valid and relevant businesses are not very plottable (is that a word?)
I think they should add the following to the glossary list:
customer service. Fat chance
Apparently at SMX West, Jen noted that Google still did not have any significant solution for the come to you type businesses. Google has not really handled non store front representations well up to this point.
Or perhaps an entry: When all else fails 🙂
From some of the searches that have been flying about between the Local Search folks, it appears that many of the businesses being included in the K-Pack results are there as a result of language found in user reviews (not all of it complimentary language!). Are you seeing any patterns yet regarding grounds for inclusion for various searches? Is it category, business name, citations, reviews…what else…
I haven’t done enough of my own searches yet to start to discern the actual criteria. Any thoughts?
Have not done a tremendous amount of analysis but they seem more frequent in urban areas than rural areas… it strikes me that the minor locations need to meet some sort of location prominence threshold before they show up…
[…] is a screen shot of the same search results from last week that reflected the K-Pac upgrade for reference: « Google Maps: “System Error”, Googlespeak for […]
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