Google offers a free way for companies and consumers to list and find businesses in their area. This can be achieved with the new Google Places. This is convenient because regular Google results do not showcase all local locations. Google Places offers businesses the option to list relevant information about their company so that consumers can access this information on the web. Consumers have the option to view various businesses in their area, and compare and rate these businesses based on their specific needs.
How does Google rank all of these local businesses? Google uses a combination of factors to list and rank these companies. Google first considered relevance. This is how relevant the businesses are to what you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for book stores, Google considers book stores, and not other types of stores such as clothing stores. Google will only consider relevant companies based on your search. The next thing that Google considers is prominence. This is taking into consider how well known some businesses are than others. This is based on various sources on the web. A more well known book store, such as Barnes and Noble, would probably be listed before a smaller more uncommon book store. Lastly, Google considers the distance of the business from your search location. If you are for example searching for a book store near New York City, the closest book stores will be listed first. These are some of the factors that Google considers when ranking the Google local results.
Google Places is a great tool. Businesses have the option to market their business even more, with this free service. Businesses can claim their local listing for free, and can update all of the information found on their Places page. Companies can add their phone number, contact information, hours of operation, payment methods, photos, and much more. This can give an internet searcher all of the information needed in order for them to decide to use this business or service. Another great added feature that can benefit the web user is the use of reviews. Google lists any reviews that exist about a business. This can give a web user a better understanding of what other people think about a company, product or service. Not all Google local results showcase reviews. Many businesses do not take advantage of Google Places because they do not realize that it exists. Often businesses also do not realize that it is free. As more companies become aware of Google’s local search, web users will have an easier time choosing the businesses that they want to use.
Google Places recently introduced Hotspot. This is a more social way of viewing local results. Users have the opportunity to rate businesses both on their computers and mobile devices. Google Places will even suggest other businesses and places that consumers will like, based on their ratings and reviews. Consumers can also see if any of their friends have enjoyed an experience at a particular place. This is an extremely beneficial update to Google Places, because Google Places results can become more individually based.
There are many benefits to Google Places. Both web users and businesses can benefit from this service. By providing relevant results and information, users can better decide on the businesses that they want to utilize. Businesses can benefit by providing accurate information to perspective customers, and can also obtain more customers from this free form of advertising. Google Places will continue to grow and change for the better. It is truly a great addition to the regular search engine results that Google displays.
Fred Meek is a professional search engine consultant in Austin Texas. For more information on Austin Search Marketing or Local Search Marketing