Thursday, May 31, 2012

Google Places Serious About No UPS. Wrong Answer to Big Problem

 No UPS Addresses for Google Places or Get Slapped!

Please don't heckle me in the comments that I'm really late to this debate.  I was busy.  But one of my clients is definitely unhappy to lose this method of location selection.  A brief history.  Google Places, back when it was called Google Maps Business Center, was ok with even PO Box listings.  However these quickly became a proscribed address in the written rules.  By leaving out UPS boxes, there was an "assumption" that these were ok.  And to be certain, lots and lots of companies used these locations as legitimate addresses and not so legit.

Because so many so-called locksmiths and others were using UPS locations, Google formally announced they were no longer acceptable.  The rub on this is that plenty of companies run their entire business from a UPS store.  35 years ago, I had a mini storage warehouse and a UPS location to run a $200,000 a month distribution company.

UPS Not A Google Place Anymore
Ok.  So what is happening now is that slowly, but surely, Google is suspending or warning folks to get off the UPS habit or face the consequences.  Some are turning to shared office space, aka virtual offices.  Others are using private mail box centers.  Still others are asking help from friends or relatives to use their home or business addresses.  And there are a few other ideas out there, but I can't share those with you as they are proprietary to my clever clients.

I have stated before that I understand that Google has its work cut out for it in the effort to tell us about every "Place" on earth, and somehow keep out the spammers and scammers.  I think this solution deserves a D grade. 

I have a client who is a personal trainer in Los Angeles.  Her location is in Brentwood, one of the many villages in the City of Los Angeles.  There is also a Brentwood in Northern California.  So if you type in personal trainer Brentwood, you are just as likely to get Norther California as Southern.

To make matters worse, she lives 5 miles from nowhere.  I know that you think Los Angeles is packed really tight, but we have many highlands and rural areas within the city limits.  So she has trouble even ranking for Brentwood.  The real business comes from Personal Trainer Los Angeles or personal trainer Santa Monica.  Now you are dealing with competitive areas, competitive keyword, and her address being far from the center of those cities. 

We've been successful at getting her some decent ranking, but it would have been much easier to get her a UPS box in downtown Los Angeles and another one in Santa Monica. 

Do you have any methods around these rules that you are willing to share?

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