Thursday, November 11, 2010

Has Google changed the way it ranks websites?

There has been an email going around the last few days scaremongering that Google has radically changed it's natural listing ranking format by including 'Google Places Pages'.

Google Places Pages are what we have know for a long time as Google Business Listings.

They have been a useful long term SEO tactic for local businesses such as trades and B2B suppliers. Not many people had latched on to the fact that Google has, for a long time, shown listings and a small local map with markers when a geographic qualifier was included in the search term.

Like any SEO activity, the 'secret' to success to being shown in that map is relevance. A good description, keywords and choice of categories is more likely to bring a listing higher. Add to that a few reviews and the always important external inbound links to the website from influential sites, and you have a top listing when someone types in 'Plumber Gorleston' for example. The more refined the geographic term - the better chance you have of success.

So is this new?

No not really. All that's happened is that Google have decided to give it a little more relevance than they had done previously.

Any web designer worth his salt would have organised a Google Business Listing for you anyway and encouraged you to get your customers to login and leave a good review. Plus, of course, look for good directories and sites to gain links from. Inbound links are good for your website and your Business Listing too.

Google Places Pages are covered in my email Website Marketing Course which all my clients receive now, once their site is up and running.

So looking at this email, it's more about trying to sell you a link on their directories rather than 'new' news. But a useful reminder of it's importance all the same.
Need help setting up a Google Places Page, or Google Business Listing if you prefer it in old money, then just call or email me.

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