Google adds Maps to Main Search Results

7:55 am in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, Search Engines by brad

Google has often included vertical search results within it’s main results. Often these are from Google Base or Google Local. Google has recently added a new twist on this feature and started showing map results when the search is an explicit business name.

If you want to check to see if a map comes up for your business, the first thing is to do an explicit search of ‘Your Business Name’ and ‘Your City’. If you don’t see a map in the results, there seem to be two different answers. The first is that your business is not listed in Google Local (more on how to be listed below). The second is that there are many locations and Google isn’t quite sure which results to display. Results for Wal-mart, Target, Starbucks did not bring up a map in Google Search.

Let’s first look at the three types of results Google may show on a local query.

Google Search Results

Ads are sponsored listings through Google AdWords.
Local results are from Google Local or Google Base.
Organic results are from the natural listings.

Now, let’s take a more in depth look at the possible inventory.

Google Search Results with Base Listings

When you see a result like this in the ‘local ad space’ from above, this is a prompt to do a search on Google Base. Listings can be either hand submitted or feed submitted to Google Base.

Google Search Results with Local Listings

When you see results with many addresses in them, Google is pulling these listings from Google Local. One can get into Google local by submitting a business directly (requires a pin number to be mailed to you, and then verification. Often takes 4-8 weeks for the entire process to be completed.) or by submitting a feed.

Google search results for locallaunch

This is the brand new result that Google is now showing. If your business is not in Google Local, it appears that a map will not show for your business. To ensure your business will show up for these results, you need to submit your business to Google Local (or use a service, discussed below).

Google search results for Locallaunch Chicago

This is a search result. By searching through Google Local, one can determine if your business is in their index. What is interesting about Google local is that a submission may not show up exactly as you submitted it to Google. Basically, Google looks at all the sources it has for a particular business, does some algorithm magic, and then displays what it thinks are the proper results.

In most cases, this works fairly well. However, if you move, change your business phone number, or any information, often the new information will not be shown because in it’s ranking formula, your new information looks incorrect as there is so much other information that is telling Google it’s still the old information.

How does one get their business into Google Local?

There are a few ways. The first is to submit to the Google Business Center. This requires you to first submit your information. Then, Google will email you a pin number (takes 4-6 weeks). Then you must input your pin number into the account your created. Finally, when Google re-compiles their local index, your business will be listed.

The second way is to submit to Google Base. You can login with your Google account and create a listing all about your business. In about 6 weeks, that information will be submitted to Google Local. Again, once the index is recompiled, then your business will be listed.

The last way is to use a Business Distribution Service. Such a service will take your business information and submit it to many local search properties (such as Yahoo Local, Superpages, Judy’s Book, etc). The leader in business data distribution is
RegisterLocal. There, you can create a profile of your business, track all kinds of results (such as phone calls, map views, etc), and even use it for a marketing landing page so that you can see the effectiveness of internet marketing for your business.

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