Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
More Examples Of Plus Integrated Into Local Search Results
Several additional instances of Google Plus integration into local search results have been found by Renan Cesar, a Brazilian search marketer. It has also been brought to my attention by Sebastian Socha that examples are now visible in Germany.
In both of these examples, the images, when clicked, go to an intermediate search result highlighting the appropriate Plus Page with an option to add them to your circle. In the first instance the intermediary result shows a recent post. In both cases the Plus page is correctly identified. The intermediate results page that you are taken to offers a somewhat awkward, beta like experience as it is neither a Plus page or a true search result.
At this point, Plus results for local are only showing in the Places Search, one click away from the main search results and thus less visible then they might be. If these results were to show in the main results, the opportunity to enhance a business listing with a large, juicy logo or image would be irresistible. As it is, this current rollout might convince some additional businesses to try Plus. It certainly seems to be pointing to much more visible exposure of Plus Business Pages.
My recommendation? Claim your Business Place Page to avoid squatting (which is all too easy at the moment), associate it with your website and minimally add a few compelling logos and photos.
On this Places Search example for Cake Box New Jersey you see a correctly integrated profile photo on all of their results from the business’s Google Plus page. The image clicks thru to an intermediary search result of a recent post on their Plus Page:
In second example the Plus page for Manta has been integrated into the organic section of Places search for NEC Store Manhattan.
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Funny, doing the top search I don’t see the company’s +box and image.
BUT at bottom of page I see Matt McGees pic and Google+ because he did a story about that company back in 2008 on SEland.
So that’s not an example of Places and + connecting but an example of + being integrated into search results. Well actually maybe now that I think of it, that’s author markup??? But it’s showing me that he’s in my circles, so it’s still partly at least integrating +.
Just to occurred to me after seeing the screen shot above. This may be why Google took the Places image out of the SERPs. To give us an image break so that when they started showing + images in the SERPs they’d stand out and make more of an impact and do a better job of forcing businesses to get signed up with +. If everyone automatically had an image from Places it would not be as noticeable if you weren’t on +.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Oh I just typed the search term and didn’t see the cake box + images, but using the link above, I see the + integration now.
I see some BIG negatives to this integration for businesses. Lower click- through to the web site and potential lost surfers! Many surfers instead of clicking the link to go directly to the business site are going to click the image and end up having to make a series of clicks with multiple distractions before they get to the site.
We all know every click is a potential distraction point that can lead the surfer away on a path that does not lead to us.
So putting my consumer hat on, here’s what I did with that search result. I’m very visually oriented and I don’t think I’m alone in that.
I pretended I’m a consumer, did the search, and I clicked on the pretty pic instead of the site link. (That’s what I’d do if I was Jill Surfer and didn’t know anything about Google+). That takes me to ANOTHER intermediate Google page. That page has 3 more links to the company’s Google+ page (and one not so obvious link to web site). I click one of those links and go to + (Another Google page). There I see all the pretty images and posts but no link to their site. I read a bunch of posts and see a bunch of cool pics on the post.
But so far I’ve spent 5 minutes and about 4 clicks ALL ON GOOGLE, never even going to the site. This + page is REALLY well done and VERY sticky. Unfortunately it’s Google I’m stuck on, not the company web site.
IF instead of great posts with great images that make me want to click, it was just some fairly boring updates like an average SMB would make, would I click any of the post links to go to the site? OR if the updates were about industry news or helpful articles and I clicked, I’d end up on some other site. OR maybe I’d be intrigued by an image in the circles and get distracted away?
Would I know that to get to the company web site I was trying to get to in the 1st place, I need to click another link and go to “About?” Too many opportunities to lose the customer in my opinion.
Before I went through this exercise I was thinking I should write a quick post on how important it is to get a dynamic image on your + page. Now I’m thinking I should advise to do a boring one, no one will want to click, so you don’t send all your visitors off to get lost on + instead of going to your site. 🙁
Point about being lost in Google is a point well taken. The intermediate search result is very kludgey… not sure why it does just go straight to the Plus Page.
I also have no idea how many folks would click on an image vs a link when given the chance. But I think that given the small size in pixels you have no real choice in the matter but to be bold and look your best and hope that not too many folks click on it.
At this point it is clearly an early iteration. Where it will end up in the short and long term is TBD.
Not seeing anything yet in the UK, but im sure it wont take long especially if there are more and more being spotted.
Not a fan of the intermediate page upon click through. Id much rather have an option to choose which page on a Google+ profile the user lands on….sort of similar to a welcome page on Facebook maybe?
If a recent post is showing, i think ill have to have something interesting and eye catching for visitors, just incase this gets rolled out over here!
If they are in Germany and here, they are likely visible world wide. It’s just that they are harder to find than hen’s teeth.
I think if you find a prominent business with a Plus business page and craft a search where they are returned in the Places search, you might find one.
The intermediate page is definitely sucky and one has to think that it is temporary.
Mike, search for “cake box new jersey” again. Now I can see below the map and photos:
This appears for you too?
I am not. Can you send a screen shot?
PS I forgot to thank you for these finds!
Yep! Look at http://bit.ly/uZI0AX
PS: I’m going out for lunch! You’re welcome! 😉
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Mike, have you seen the “Social” ad extension? Apparently you can setup the link between your + profile and your places listing yourself, if your + profile is verified:
Whoops, I meant to say link between your + profile and your adwords listings!
I had heard of the Plus Social/Ad boost but have not explored the feature.
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