Google Places Marketing Experiment. First Results Are In! See What Happened to My Listing.

by 48 comments

Hello Fellow Offliners,

Like many of you I was taken for a loop with this latest Google Update. I had a mini freak out because I have hundreds of Google Places listings and was nervous about how this new update would affect my clients. I guess that’s what I get for offering a service dependent on the whims of a search engine

I’ve been all over the WF, blogs, trying to find out as much as I can about how this massive Google change and what the future holds for us Offliners. I’m particularly interested in seeing how this Google change will affect those of us doing Google Places Marketing. It’s been a huge money maker for me and I loved the fact that there was no traditional SEO needed in order to dominate Google Places.

I know that everyone has their own theory, but I personally think that Google Places Marketing has changed forever. I believe traditional SEO is much more of a player now and that the days of getting quick and easy Google Places rankings are gone (for the most part).

But enough theory…. The only way to really know is to do some testing. I’m going to do a real live experiment and document my progress and findings right here on this thread. I’m going to use an actual website that is currently ranking on the first page of Google. I created a Google Places listing for it today.

We’re going to find out the following:
-How long it will take for the Google Places Listing to show up on the new SERP. It used to take a new listing 2-3 weeks . Let’s see how long it’ll take now.

-If the new Google Places listing will merge with the Organic Listing.

-How the organic ranking will be affected by the Google Places Listing.

-I purposefully created a stripped down Google Places Listing. The only optimization I did was add a keyword rich company name and a picture. No videos. I want to see if once the listing is merged, if it will continue to rank well. We’ll be able to truly see how important an optimized Google Places listing is in this new environment.

Website details:
-subdomain website Sacramento Smog, Sacramento Smog Check, Sacramento Smog Test, Smog Test in Sacramento, Sacramento Smog Test Only, Smog Check in Sacramento, Sacramento CA Smog, Sacramento CA Smog Check, Sacramento CA Smog Test, Smog Test, Smog Check

-Currently ranking 3rd on Google for sacramento smog

-Site is a little over a year old

-Only did a little bit of backlinking the first month…haven’t touched it since.

Google Places Details
Google Places link: Sacramento Smog Check - Google Maps

-I used a popular Sacramento physical address and a virtual phone #

-I will not promote this listing. No citations, maps, backlinks, no reviews, or photo sharing sites.

-The listing is not 100% complete.

I’m excited to see the results. I hope you will follow along and ask questions as we go. If you have any suggestions about this experiment, please post them here.

John Sanders
#offline marketing #experiment #google #google changes #google maps #google places #google places marketing #google serp #journal #live #marketing #places #video
  • Profile picture of the author fushigi
    how can your experiment be accurate if you're listing is not 100% complete and you do no citiations, or promotions?
  • Profile picture of the author fushigi
    Thanks for clarifying, got it now. Should've watched the video first!
  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    Let's hope nobody comes up with an idea to backlink the hell out of those listings when you're not watching!

  • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
    I just suggest to build links and keep creating references for your listings. and never forget Google's own tools and properties. They don't spent billions of dollars, because they're bored...

    do you mean references as "citations"? or ...? what is meant by the term references in the quoted paragrpah?

    thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts ...
  • Profile picture of the author Boogaloo
    Hey John,

    I too will be following this thread closely, an interesting experiment. From the little research Ive done over the last few days it certainly appears to me that the on site optimisation is now a bigger factor for the new results.

    But I still feel a well optimised G places page will help give you a higher pin placing than without.

    Maybe that would be the next step in the test?

    Thanks for the insights

  • Profile picture of the author stelogo
    Originally Posted by Leads4Builders View Post

    -I used a popular Sacramento physical address and a virtual phone #
    John, what do you mean by "popular"?

    Looking forward to your findings.
  • Profile picture of the author fashionmurdoc
  • Profile picture of the author John W.G.
    You say you used a popular Sacramento physical address.

    So you're saying that you used a different address than the true physical address of the business?
  • Profile picture of the author stelogo
    John, have you seen any evidence of businesses in the new Places listings that were previously ranked poorly in the organic results?

    Just curious as I want to offer Places service but was wondering if I would have to get the client to the equivalent of first page organic rankings in order to place in Places.
  • Profile picture of the author zenmack
    What I find amazing is that your site is #3 and it's not even finished or complete. How? I keep battling to rank my site:

    Sacramento Personal Trainer

    I made it to page 3 and the new google thing dropped me off and down a page.

    I see your using all Anchor test links within the pages. They seem to be keyword optimized also.

    Are you using a ton of backlinks?

    Also I will be following your video.
  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Congrats on your Baby, family should always come before business. I am very interested in this though; I might try it myself if I enter the offline market

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