Google Places for Business/Local SEO

7 replies
  • SEO
  • |
This last Tuesday I was shocked to see that Google Places is very, very different than before. (ok, not totally shocked as it's Google)
They have deleted some areas. Previously, I was able to use Categories and Additional Details to put keywords into. Now, Additional Details is gone and Gategories only allows two of my keywords (Hypnotherapy Service and Weight Loss Service), none of my other important ones.
I do Hypnotherapy Training and Certification. I teach a class for hypnotherapists and other practitioners in how to get clients. At least those two keywords are good for them to get clients, but none of their other niches (such as smoking cessation). The goal for my students is to get more local clients, and my goal is to get students. My main need is to tell the students what they need to do to get clients. Being found on Google's map is very important to them. (I also teach them local SEO for their own websites).

Ramifications: there is no category for hypnosis (the word hypnotherapy is not allowed in some states), nor one for Training, nor hypnosis/hypnotherapy certification. I'm guessing the only place now for keywords is Description, the restrictive Categories, and perhaps the names of photos and videos?
Anyone know or have any recommendations/opinions?
#business or local #google #google map #google places #local seo #places #seo
  • Yes Beverly, Places has changed a lot.

    Google now only allows default categories but the ranking algo is different too.

    In the past you would only rank for the KWs you had in cats. Now Google ranks you for KW not just based on cats, but what's on your site and what it gleans from all your citations and directory listings. So just be sure your KWs and categories are consistent everywhere and Google will pick them up.
    Signature

    Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
    ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
    Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9000449].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author BeverlyTaylor
      Originally Posted by Catalyst eMarketing View Post

      Yes Beverly, Places has changed a lot.

      Google now only allows default categories but the ranking algo is different too.

      In the past you would only rank for the KWs you had in cats. Now Google ranks you for KW not just based on cats, but what's on your site and what it gleans from all your citations and directory listings. So just be sure your KWs and categories are consistent everywhere and Google will pick them up.
      Linda, thank you soooooo much for answering! This gives me an answer to give my students and it will help them a lot.

      1. So if they have consistent keywords everywhere on their site, meta tags, directory listings, and citations, then this would move them up in both map/places ranking (e.g., A Pin) and also in organic listing of their website?

      2. How does this affect their subniches, for example, weight loss, smoking cessation, addictions, etc. ?

      3. Then for me, as there isn't really any correct Places Category for me as a hypnosis trainer, I guess I'll just have to do everything else and rely on my website more than Places. Right?

      4. Related to that, my students that are in states where it is not allowed to use the term hypnotherapy and they are only allowed to used hypnosis, I guess they will have to use the Hypnotherapy Services category, but otherwise be consistent with the use of Hypnosis everywhere else. I know Google knows these words are related, so hopefully it would consider them to be consistent?

      I apologize if too many questions. Please feel free to answer what you desire. I really, really appreciate anything you provide. It's great that you are a Local SEO expert.
      Signature
      Join our affiliate program! Earn $400 or more for 1 sale! Lucrative commissions.
      http://www.warriorforum.com/affiliat...ffiliates.html
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001257].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        I search for hypnotherapy just now, and I get a brazilian in my
        neighborhood.

        Have you actually tried advertising?

        If google does not allow you to put it in a category that is available to
        others, then local is a moot point, isn't it? It would never show up.

        I have no clue as to what people mean by sme algo for ranking local.

        There is no ranking, per se. But looking at sig links, well, I know the
        rest of the story.

        It's about location, mostly. And you can't outrank location. Not that
        "outranking" even means anything here either.

        You'd most assuredly better get a google+ page as well. Just saying.

        But about that advertising thingy...

        Paul
        Signature

        If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001279].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author BeverlyTaylor
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          I search for hypnotherapy just now, and I get a brazilian in my
          neighborhood.

          Have you actually tried advertising?

          If google does not allow you to put it in a category that is available to
          others, then local is a moot point, isn't it? It would never show up.

          I have no clue as to what people mean by sme algo for ranking local.

          There is no ranking, per se. But looking at sig links, well, I know the
          rest of the story.

          It's about location, mostly. And you can't outrank location. Not that
          "outranking" even means anything here either.

          You'd most assuredly better get a google+ page as well. Just saying.

          But about that advertising thingy...

          Paul
          Paul, thank you for your reply. While I did Google adwords years ago, my experience was getting 70 cents for every dollar I spent. That was for an ebook though. I am still considering teaching my students about it anyway at some point. It's not high priority for most of them, as they are beginners needing to set up the basics, don't have the money, and are mostly only looking for local clients to have appointments in their office.

          In small cities, there usually are only 2 or 3 other practitioners, so just getting the basics set up will often do what is needed to show up in the first page of Google.

          I will also be teaching them how to set up their Google + page shortly, when they are ready for it.

          Thank you for your points.
          Signature
          Join our affiliate program! Earn $400 or more for 1 sale! Lucrative commissions.
          http://www.warriorforum.com/affiliat...ffiliates.html
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001405].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author paulgl
            I meant your business needs a google+ page.

            There are tons of ways of advertising for free.

            Yeah, I don't live in a small town, and I am in California,
            so tons of hypnotherapy here. Not that there's anything
            wrong with that...

            Try the words alternative medicine, or others until you
            find a category that fits.

            I don't know how google's local would ever have any tweak for
            categories based on location, especially the US.

            Paul
            Signature

            If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001574].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Xebekn
        Originally Posted by BeverlyTaylor View Post

        Linda, thank you soooooo much for answering! This gives me an answer to give my students and it will help them a lot.

        1. So if they have consistent keywords everywhere on their site, meta tags, directory listings, and citations, then this would move them up in both map/places ranking (e.g., A Pin) and also in organic listing of their website?

        2. How does this affect their subniches, for example, weight loss, smoking cessation, addictions, etc. ?

        3. Then for me, as there isn't really any correct Places Category for me as a hypnosis trainer, I guess I'll just have to do everything else and rely on my website more than Places. Right?

        4. Related to that, my students that are in states where it is not allowed to use the term hypnotherapy and they are only allowed to used hypnosis, I guess they will have to use the Hypnotherapy Services category, but otherwise be consistent with the use of Hypnosis everywhere else. I know Google knows these words are related, so hopefully it would consider them to be consistent?

        I apologize if too many questions. Please feel free to answer what you desire. I really, really appreciate anything you provide. It's great that you are a Local SEO expert.
        1) You do need to have your keywords in relevant places on your website but be sure not to stuff them.

        2) Do a search for these subniche keywords. Are there Google+ Local results there? If not, these are web results and if you just create another page on your site dedicated to this keyword you'll probably be fine. If there are Google+ Local results more than likely they're pulling those results from related categories and more than likely the related categories you already listed in your Google+ Local page.

        3) Check and see the Google results for your main keyword. Are there Google+ Local results for it? If so, open up their Google+ Local pages and see what categories they are using. Use the same.

        4) Google can pick up synonymous terms so you should be okay.

        Does those answers help at all?
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9027252].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Local isn't the same for everyone.

    If your on a desktop serching local keywords your getting served local search results based on your ISPs GEO location which isn't always precise to your own GEO location. Example, my own ISP is 50+ miles away, so If I search for restaurants I'm going to get restaurants local to my ISP (50+ miles away).

    Mobile phones are obviously more precise with GEO location, they're most likely following cell phone towers like 911 does with triangulation to get your GEO location or going off GPS, you know, those GPS coordinates in the meta data of images that people upload to Facebook (lol).
    Signature
    Hi
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[9001607].message }}

Trending Topics