Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Google Places Listings Double - What Impact Will That Have on Ranking

The total number of claimed Google Places Listings by small local businesses has doubled in 2011, according to QuickRegister.net.  You might correctly guess that this makes it twice as hard to get an above the fold ranking or even a page 1 ranking on Google Places.  Just math, nothing more sophisticated than that. 

My expectation is that this trend will only continue in 2012.  Google seems to be upping their game on every platform, and many pundits are expecting more crossovers between various media owned by Google.  In particular, Google + is getting a huge amount of attention from top Google staff.  Google Places has been the most complex product on the web.  All of this is only going to add complexity.  That may be good for consultants like me, but not so great for the average business trying to stay in business.

I get calls almost every day from companies who can point specifically to Google Places as the reason for their success or lack of it.  What we are seeing right now is that righteousness is paying off.  Black hat, scammers, and spammers are losing rank and being suspended.  This is helping a lot, but for every bad guy they kick out, two legit guys figure out they need to be listed.  That's better for the consumer, but not so great for you.

What is the answer?  As best I can, you've got the answers I know about contained here on the blog.  But my business is double what it was last year and it is getting harder and harder to keep this blog current.  Please leave your questions in the comment section of this post and I'll do my best to deal specifically with the issues you raise.

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