Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Google Places 2012 News - Best Practices Working Again

I have been fighting and fussing with Google Places since it was called Google Maps or Google Business Center.  Over those 4 years, there have been times when Google Places was predictable and someone with basic SEO understanding could generally get a high rank for their clients.  Then there were days when things seemed pretty upside down.  Other times it appeared the spammers would rule.
New Grey Pin on Google Places

The Google Places of 2012 is thus far doing better.  I might even give them a B+.  While there are still tons of rediculous results with tiny companies with no online presence who haven't even claimed their listing on Google Places that are ranked highly, the ranking seems more reasonable today than at almost anytime in 2011. 

While there are still spammers winning a battle here and there, a locksmith told me the other day that he thought Google Places had done a good job of cleaning up the worst category on the web.

So, what does it take in 2012 to get a top ranking on Google Places.  Hard work at backlinks for the website and citations for the Google Places listing.  What is the number one thing to be aware of in trying to get your phone to ring based on Google search in 2012.  Make sure you are highly ranked on the Everything page.  Sometimes your Google Places listing will be showing on the Everything search, sometimes not.  Most consumers are not going to change the default and go look on Places. 

So, until the next major change, we are back to basics.  Your website must be well optimized for your keywords.  You must have solid backlinks to create cred for the website.  Then you must fill out the Google Places listing using the rules seen on this blog as completely as possible.  Then find the best possible citations starting with supplier dealer locators, local search engine listings, YP listings, and directory listings in your industry and your local area.  Do that right, avoid black hat tricks, and you can probably do this yourself, and save yourself the cost of calling me.  310-910-1848 for those who would rather trust a pro.

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