Friday, May 7, 2010

Google Places and the Effect of Citations on Placement on the Outside MAP

This is for fellow SEO and marketing consultants who are looking for a major edge over the competition, and for those business owners and marketing managers who are frustrated with their inability to get the Google Places listing to rank as high as they would like. 

You've read every word in this blog.  You have more reviews than anyone.  You have 100% rating on Google Places in completeness of your listing.  You have an active coupon.  You have listed the company with exactly the same name, address and phone number on a large list of other Local Search Engines, and the name address and phone number are on the home page of the website in text.  You've done all that, but you're still showing up on an inside page of Google Places.

Why do all those things first before worrying about citations.  Because those things are all more likely to get you to your goal, and because this advice on citations is hard, boring, and only remotely going to add to your "points" with Google. 

Then why do it at all.  Because those last few points might be just what you need to move up. 

With that huge long introduction out of the way, we next need to define citation.  A citation is other websites that mention you, especially if they have credibility in the same field.  If you are a bakery and you get a write up in the local paper as the best bakery in town, and the online version of that paper includes your name and hopefully your url, you gain credibility.  These are citations.

Now, go to every listing above you in rank.  Check out the citations that Google is showing as per the picture of the example listing shown here.  What you now want to do is see if you can get a citation from those same sources.  In some cases it may be as simple as being added to a directory of some kind.  In other cases you may need to convince someone to do a write up on you. 

The frustrating part of all this is that there is absolutely no guarantee that Google will pick up your citation even if you do all this work.  But they probably will.  The good news is that most of the citations you gain might have benefits in their own right, and may also help the status of your website, blog, or other urls that are mentioned in the citations. 

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