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.
-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.