Google Places Changes Demand Small Business Attention

Recently Google has made some changes that are affecting page one rankings worldwide. This is information you won’t hear in too many places, so make sure you save this article.If you’ve ever seen the dotted map that shows up when searching for something locally online, you’ve seen Google Places. Google has a database of millions of businesses it uses to help its searchers. Our company (see below) specializes in optimizing these listings so that business will show up on Google page one. It has been an amazing experience to see the results from different business categories on Google Places.In the past, Google placed the search map right in the middle of results at the top of the page. In early November, they moved it over to the right side bar. This enabled them to show more local listings on a users main screen view. They’ve also combined the relevance and search engine optimization strength of a business’s website with how many reviews a company has received between Google and many of the popular review sites such as and and even other search engine reviews from yahoo.local. In addition, a well optimized Google Places page also plays into your chances of a top listing on page one of Google.What does this mean for your business?
You should make sure you have a well optimized Google Places listing. If you don’t plan on reviewing your Google Analytics each month and doing your keyword research on a regular basis, hire an expert to set this up and manage it for you on a regular basis.
You should monitor your business reviews weekly if not monthly and respond as you can. Encourage your customers who tell you they had a good experience to post their positive review of you online. Most reviews online are negative because upset people go through as many motions as possible to tell as many people as possible how bad their experience was. You must stay in front of this with positive reviews.
You should build a highly ranked website. When was the last time you checked your site traffic? How many times have you heard, “a great website won’t do you any good without traffic.” There are many techniques to build great on site SEO and off site SEO. Again, just as you wouldn’t represent yourself in court, in 95% of the cases, you should hire an outside firm to help raise the profile of your page in the search engines.
If you complete these steps and stick with it on a regular basis, you’ll see an increased amount of interaction on your website, more phone calls and ultimately more sales for your business. For expert help, contact me or my team at’d be happy to consult with you on implementing these ideas in your business. For less than the yellow pages charges for a small display ad, you can do a ton of work for your website and Google optimization with results that will far exceed what the Yellow Dinosaur will deliver.

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