How do you get a Google Places listing to Rank higher?

46 replies
How do you go about getting a Google Places listing to rank higher?

What is the exact system you use?

I don't know if this is Warrior Legal...(someone let me know if it isn't) but the person who provides the best, most valuable answer, I will give you the Local Lead Maximizer Pro software for free as a bonus.
#google #higher #listing #places #rank
  • Profile picture of the author jsherloc
    - Good "onpage" optimization of the Places page itself (good use of pictures, videos, geotagged, uploaded directly with keyword-rich titles and "upload from web" geotagged options wherever possible etc)

    - EXCELLENT "onpage" optimization of the actual website. I think this is still overlooked by a lot of people. Good use of tags especially TITLE and DESCRIPTION, footer links, citations ON the actual website in the footer of every page.

    - Upload location.kml and geo-sitemap.xml files to root directory page of business website AND submit to Google Webmaster tools. Use EXACT info in these as you use on the Places listing

    - Try matching your meta description of the business website up with the description used in Places if possible

    - Citations! A large volume of general "geo-contextual" authority sites like insiderpages mojopages thumbtack etc can push listings to the top. Sprinkle in some hyperlocal/hyperniche citations for good measure. HINT: You can get a lot of really good citations with a decent press release blast from some of the reputable providers out there. Include your business citation in the press release, you can do the same with article directories in the resource box. If your client is a member of the local Chamber or the BBB, be sure to make use of those authority citation resources as well. Also, see if you can set up some guest blog posts on local news websites and include the citation info "contextually" if possible. This type of link can be a POWERHOUSE in the serps all on its own...

    - BACKLINKS Backlink EVERYTHING. Seriously. And having 400+ words of UNIQUE content on any page you intend on ranking organically is a good start too, as this Panda bear has been very hungry as of late. munch munch munch mmmm CONTENT mmmm

    - ALSO, remembered another one. A lot of people obviously WANT their Places listing to get merged with their organic website listing, but what kind of sucks about this is that it also takes away your previous organic ranking completely when this merge happens. It is great in that almost always your new merged listing would now appear higher and at a better placement, but there is a way you can get the best of both worlds in a lot of cases. Simply use an internal kw-rich page on your business website as the website URL for your Places listing if you already are ranking the main page high organically. This usually enables the previous organic listing/the main page to stay ranking as a different entity, and then your internal page will merge with the Places listing. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY RECOMMENDED AT ALL, I am just saying that I have seen it work out that way in my past experiences. Places changes so much though, it is REALLY hard to have an EXACT system. No one listing you encounter will require exactly the same type of stuff in my experiences.

    Not the best answer or an exact system, but stuff I have picked up along the way.

    AND ONE MORE to add to this list...

    - Deal With A LOT of Headaches regarding Places lol


    - Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author Nick Surran
      Originally Posted by jsherloc View Post

      - ...

      - Upload location.kml and geo-sitemap.xml files to root directory page of business website AND submit to Google Webmaster tools. Use EXACT info in these as you use on the Places listing

      ...
      Great overall answer, Jim. I would have to agree with the others that you win. Would you mind explaining the quoted point in a little more detail or point me to a source to help learn about or create these files?
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  • Profile picture of the author ninaj143
    I would like to know this as well. I've been helping a local business by doing all the outlined items above and instead, they have gone down in rankings lately, meanwhile the top local rankings for the keyword doesn't have any of this, but sits at the top. They only have a claimed page. They don't have reviews, citations, a website. The only difference is proximity--they are closer to the center of town. Is that the more important aspect of Google Places?
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteSmarty
    - Picasa 3: Free download from Google lets you geo-tag your photos. You mark the location on maps yourself. The photos must comply with the Google Maps Photos Policy. Oops. Is that photo tagged downtown? must have been a mistake.

    - The citations. Put them everywhere using the exact info and layout.

    - That landing page on the website jsherloc alludes to. Put the phone number in the title.

    Joe Blow's Place - (123) 657-8976

    - Throw a twitter at both, often. Have your buddies do it to.

    - Citations, citations, everywhere.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dexx
      Originally Posted by SiteSmarty View Post

      - Picasa 3: Free download from Google lets you geo-tag your photos. You mark the location on maps yourself. The photos must comply with the Google Maps Photos Policy. Oops. Is that photo tagged downtown? must have been a mistake.
      That is genius!

      I never even thought about use Picasa for that...thank you for sharing such a great idea SS

      Cheers,

      ~Dexx
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  • Profile picture of the author spacechimpmedia
    All good stuff thus far. I'll add two things.

    1. Get your customers to rate your business. The more ratings you have the more authority your listing will have.
    2. If you have multiple locations make sure your information is accurate accross the web. Google looks at this as an authority factor as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Hint hint, check the local news sites to see if they allow users to set up profiles. That's all I'm saying. = ) This isn't always something you can find in your local area but if you do it can be another way of getting a citation on a local authority site.

    You don't need a ton of citations, you don't need a ton of back links in the traditional sense that we here are the WF are accustomed too. By this I mean there is NO need to buy blog posts, xrumor's, blog commenting, social bookmarking, or any type of back linking service to get a places listing to rank.

    I haven't bought any type of back linking for any of my clients listings and they ALL rank for the main keyword phrase and for every category in the places listing as well. Not to mention some phrases that I haven't even optimized for.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Hint hint, check the local news sites to see if they allow users to set up profiles. That's all I'm saying. = ) This isn't always something you can find in your local area but if you do it can be another way of getting a citation on a local authority site.

      You don't need a ton of citations, you don't need a ton of back links in the traditional sense that we here are the WF are accustomed too. By this I mean there is NO need to buy blog posts, xrumor's, blog commenting, social bookmarking, or any type of back linking service to get a places listing to rank.

      I haven't bought any type of back linking for any of my clients listings and they ALL rank for the main keyword phrase and for every category in the places listing as well. Not to mention some phrases that I haven't even optimized for.
      Thats just because you are the man though.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Call me Master! Just kidding!

        Anyways we tend to over do things which can really end up hurting our efforts. I just set my stuff up and let it happen, and it happens.

        BTW John, you and I have a date! Don't you have skype?

        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        Thats just because you are the man though.
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        • Profile picture of the author John Durham
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          Call me Master! Just kidding!

          Anyways we tend to over do things which can really end up hurting our efforts. I just set my stuff up and let it happen, and it happens.

          BTW John, you and I have a date! Don't you have skype?
          Yeah, yeah work work work... I guess I shouldnt expect anything more than conversation on this date... But at least its cheap, has the potential to actually MAKE money, and plus I like you better than most girls lol.

          Will Pm my skype. Should be on in a couple of hours. Looking forward to it Russ... Someone should write a childrens book "Russ and The Magic Software".
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    • Profile picture of the author ryanlucht
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      You don't need a ton of citations, you don't need a ton of back links in the traditional sense that we here are the WF are accustomed too.

      I haven't bought any type of back linking for any of my clients listings and they ALL rank for the main keyword phrase and for every category in the places listing as well. Not to mention some phrases that I haven't even optimized for.
      These are good pieces of advice. Before you go crazy trying to rank a Google Places page, realize that

      A) Google Places takes a LOT longer to update rankings then organic search
      B) Do some competitive analysis! If none of your clients competitors are doing a lot with Google Places, you can get by with much less work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hazz
    I would agree
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  • Profile picture of the author salomeh
    me too, I agree
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
    Rus, by far, has the best answer IMO. Local indicators are critical. jsherloc reply was excellent too, but that should be considered the bare minimum/starting point with Places today. Maybe not yesterday or the day before, but today. Places is fast evolving, so some stuff you read a while ago doesn't do anything any more.

    In my experience, the closer to dead center you are for the city you are optimizing for, the better and by better I mean that can be as much as 90%.

    I have clients that have great SEO (over 48 #1 listings I built over three months from not being in the top 200) and can't show on Places no matter what I do...because they live on the very edge of the city. VERY edge.

    I also have clients, in more competitive areas than said client mentioned, and I have gotten them to #1 by doing 20% of what jsherloc said. Makes no sense, but they sit almost DEAD center of the city.

    I had another stubborn client, no where to be found on Places no matter what I did...until I got them mentioned in a local newspaper and now they are #2 and have been for three months from that one trick.

    I am certainly FAR from an expert on Places, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but that has been my experience.

    Fight the good fight (i.e. Google).
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  • Profile picture of the author eddiesmith
    Not sure what the terminology is. But name each photo and video with the biz name. i.e. tomstires1.jpg tomstires2.jpg etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidbatchelor
    Hopefully this isn't to far off topic, but so far I haven't got a reply from RK.

    I have referred 3 people to Local Lead Maximizer and I am still waiting for the bonuses, just wondering why that is?

    ~ David
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  • Profile picture of the author xaby
    sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, what is your exact definition of "citation"? full business geographical information and legal business name?
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    • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
      A citation is basically a business name, address, and phone number on a website that is not owned by the business.

      So if I have a widget on my website that says Bob's Pizza, 123 A Street, 123-456-7897 - that's a citation.

      I should point out that google only requires 2/3 to be a valid citation, so just the name and address, or the phone number and address, etc all count.

      A citation can be included in a review then, obviously. But, a review doesn't have to be a citation if it only mentions 1 of the three requirements. So, if it just says "Review of Bob's Pizza" then that might not count as a citation.


      Originally Posted by xaby View Post

      sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, what is your exact definition of "citation"? full business geographical information and legal business name?
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      • Profile picture of the author Amy5
        Question about the local news paper.... does it help for them to have an online ad on the newspaper? (since most local newspapers have an online version) Would that help their ranking, or does it need to be an article written about the business (which is a lot harder to get).
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        • Profile picture of the author chazkey
          Question about the local news paper.... does it help for them to have an online ad on the newspaper? (since most local newspapers have an online version) Would that help their ranking, or does it need to be an article written about the business (which is a lot harder to get).
          To Amy5,

          Yes it does! I had an SEO project that was a "Job Site". They needed to hire people in a specific job related niche. I found out they were running newspaper ads every week, so I convinced them to place a link in each ad and I looked like a hero while they did my work for me...

          Also keep in mind, sites are always scraping newspaper sites for content and they will scrape your links.
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  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    This right here is the definitive document describing the factors needed for ranking Google Places.

    Local Search Ranking Factors | Local SEO Best Practices for Ranking in Google Places
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    I am struggling with this too. 50+ page one rankings. But getting them into maps has proven tough. They are on the outskirts of town.

    G maps fully populated - geo tagged videos (will try the picasa tip and geo tag photos)
    Tons of directory submissions, local directories (free ones) and am thinking we should pay to get into the local directories that charge.
    Industry directories - submitted to free ones thinking we should pay to get in some of the others.

    Crazy thing is I have another client that is located close to the city center. A handful of articles on a blog network and they were B spot within 2 weeks for all the maps that are available for their keywords + organic listings to boot. What's even crazier is that it is the same title, description and keywords for every page in the meta tags. WTF!

    G places is frustrating that is for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidbatchelor
    I am currently in position two on Google places for my local business. However it only went there from position three it appears as I made some changes. The two that were above me weren't even address verified even though I was.
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  • Profile picture of the author David B.
    The local map places don't show when using seed keywords...like "dentist, rain gutter" you have to use a local modifier as in "denver dentist" for the map places to show.

    And yes being close to the city center seems to have great influence in being in the A position.

    There is a listing that is using a downtown parking garage in the center of the city as its address and its in A position in all their keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author DNChamp
    So if the ranking is based on location lets say and not really keyword what do you do for those in small towns who can still do work in the big cities.

    Example say someone looks up SEO in (big city name) then I wont come up because im located 20 miles away even though I do service in that city?

    NO one is going to look me up based on the city in google, hell they will just stop mne on the street instead LOL...But seriously is this how it will work, search based on teh exact city im listed in?
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    So I have 2 listings I did for a waterproofing company and yeh there is A LOT of headaches to deal with learning your way around google places.

    My question is this.

    I see one of our #1 competitors is somehow owning google listings no matter where you search for him in the state. And I noticed this company has about 4 listings for the same place.

    So it seemed like a good idea to me. Get a google listing for multiple towns so when people search "basement waterproofing" in those towns his listing will actually show up.

    But then I heard this is a great way to get your accounts banned if you don't know what you're doing. So I spoke to a ppc guy that knows a lot about google places and he told me to do this.

    He said have a different website for each google place listing. And he said have a different phone number for each too. He said he's seen people use the same website and phone number and he's seen google ban their accounts.

    My question is this. I'll gladly make more websites if I can cover more area on the map. But one of my listings I have set to 60 mile radius which is almost the whole state already (NJ), so do I *really need multiple listings? Is it a waste of time? Should I just focus on getting the one listing as optimized as possible?

    Right now his main website has no keywords in the meta tag so thats one thing I can definitely work on. His website his currently ranking 3 and all his competitors are 2 or lower, but they still beat him with their google place listings.

    This stuff confuses the hell out of me but am I looking at this wrong?
    I just happened to see a lot of competitors with multiple listings so thought "hey it makes sense I can cover more local areas in the state".

    But then the obvious issue is if I can't get one of those listings to rank, it will likely be that much harder to get 4 listings to rank lol.

    Eitherway I'll take the advice that was written in this thread. More onsite optimization. As far as the listing itself it only allows like 200 character max so you can't really use a lot of keywords in your listing in the first place. I have managed to get "basement wateproofing" in the name of the company so at least the title is optimized. But if anyone has any advice on the multiple listings and whether or not itse even neccesary I'd appreciate it!
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  • Profile picture of the author LocalWebListings
    We don't focus on the "ranking" of the listing, but I can tell you that VERIFYING the listing should be part of your process. It will your make the listing more "trusted" and has been reported by the "experts" to be one of the most important things to do for better positioning, not to mention all of the other benefits of verification (enhancement, analytics, etc...)
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    Get Your Clients Local Business Listings Claimed, Enhanced, & Verified!

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    • Profile picture of the author davidbatchelor
      If that is actually true, why was my local business still in only third position after been verified and the two businesses above mine were not verified?

      Originally Posted by LocalWebListings View Post

      We don't focus on the "ranking" of the listing, but I can tell you that VERIFYING the listing should be part of your process. It will your make the listing more "trusted" and has been reported by the "experts" to be one of the most important things to do for better positioning, not to mention all of the other benefits of verification (enhancement, analytics, etc...)
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      • Profile picture of the author LocalWebListings
        Originally Posted by davidbatchelor View Post

        If that is actually true, why was my local business still in only third position after been verified and the two businesses above mine were not verified?
        Verifying your listing is only one of many factors, it does not guarantee anything. If you have poor citations, or inconsistent data on your website... then verification alone may not help as much with your rank, but t is still important for many reasons, like getting access to your Places analytics data.

        The experts I refer to can be found here...
        Local Search Ranking Factors | Local SEO Best Practices for Ranking in Google Places

        Verification is ranked as the second most recommended factor in this report.
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        Get Your Clients Local Business Listings Claimed, Enhanced, & Verified!

        http://BusinessListingVerification.com
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        • Profile picture of the author davidbatchelor
          Just out of curiosity, what makes those people experts in Google maps/places according to you?

          Originally Posted by LocalWebListings View Post

          Verifying your listing is only one of many factors, it does not guarantee anything. If you have poor citations, or inconsistent data on your website... then verification alone may not help as much with your rank, but t is still important for many reasons, like getting access to your Places analytics data.

          The experts I refer to can be found here...
          Local Search Ranking Factors | Local SEO Best Practices for Ranking in Google Places

          Verification is ranked as the second most recommended factor in this report.
          Signature
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          • Profile picture of the author LocalWebListings
            Originally Posted by davidbatchelor View Post

            Just out of curiosity, what makes those people experts in Google maps/places according to you?
            Well... in my first post I put "experts" in quotes... because I understand it is a subjective term. but.. If you look at the list of contributors to that report, and their background, I think it is fair to conclude that they are experts.
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            Get Your Clients Local Business Listings Claimed, Enhanced, & Verified!

            http://BusinessListingVerification.com
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  • Profile picture of the author MJMNetwork
    You sure you dont say that just cause its your site ?
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    • Profile picture of the author LocalWebListings
      Originally Posted by MJMNetwork View Post

      You sure you dont say that just cause its your site ?
      WOW! I did not think a simple statement of opinion would create such negativity and skepticism.

      and... NO. The site the report is hosted on is not my site, and I am in no way affiliated with them or the contributors to the report. I only referenced it when a question was raised about why a verified listing was not ranking higher then a non-verified listing (because it is one of many factors).
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      Get Your Clients Local Business Listings Claimed, Enhanced, & Verified!

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  • Profile picture of the author eezymoney
    Think Jim's post #2 is the most useful - but this thread has some great information contained within it.
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  • Profile picture of the author farkry
    Does anybody know if backlinks directly to your Goolge places page has any impact whatsoever ? Not sure if this is a silly question or not but I'm sure somebody mentioned it at some point but I've never found any other refernces to this.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      I would not build back links to your Places page with the intent to increase its ranking. It won't have any effect and Google will see that its completely contrived.

      Originally Posted by farkry View Post

      Does anybody know if backlinks directly to your Goolge places page has any impact whatsoever ? Not sure if this is a silly question or not but I'm sure somebody mentioned it at some point but I've never found any other refernces to this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Levine
    I have several client sites and my own site ranking #1 in places, just from filling out everything in the Places set-up page, and doing excellent SEO on the main website. Now I have a new client who I set up the same way, and is ranking on page one organic, but his Places page has not yet responded positively. There are no reviews to his Places page yet. I'm trying to test that and see if it produces the desired result. Also need to kick in some GEO tagging, and citations. Some clients just may take more work than others.
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  • Profile picture of the author septy86
    Lots of great informations here, thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author McCoy
    this is interesting,, I've been looking a cheap way to build the rank of my website,, and I'm reading some advice in this thread.. I think backlinking is the best way and advertisement,,
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  • Profile picture of the author soflanetworking
    Great thread with lots of fantastic information here.. Thanks for sharing everyone
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    • Profile picture of the author sodomojo
      Great discussion. Just had to sub to read later.
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