The growing use of the internet by the masses to find out about products and services they are looking to purchase or hire has got many businesses seriously thinking about their online visibility. Many businesses have already grown to learn the importance of Search Engine Optimization in helping them get better rankings in search results. Globally, internet users have always used search engines to find their way through the World Wide Web. Among the many search engines available, Google stands out as the number one choice for users around the globe. It is no surprise therefore, that businesses want to find their way to the top in Google search results. Your SEO provider will definitely have hundreds of suggestions to help you get those rankings. However, Google has been continuously rolling out changes in the way its search process works. Google, not too long ago, rolled out a new search process system which is called Google Places. In this article we will briefly consider what Google Places is, how it works and how it affects your ranking.
What is Google Places?
Previously, when searchers used to put a geographical location in their searches, Google would sometimes place a map along with the local business results. Local business listings were previously used separately and the listings were reproduced in Google Maps. In late 2010, Google launched a new platform called the Google Places which incorporated both web search and web maps to produce a search process that changes the way your website is ranked in Google search results.
How does Google Places work?
Google Places works like a local listing for your business in Google search results. When a person types in a keyword or phrase which includes a location based search or is basically linked to a location, a directory listing is produced with Google’s web-based mapping application. Results thus generated give the exact location, with route plans and an image if available.
How does it affect your ranking?
There are four things that are clearly used by Google to determine your ranking in Google Place.
1. Proximity: How close your business is to the searched location plays a very important role in your ranking.
2. Optimisation: Whether you have effectively optimized your listing on Google Places and correctly submitted you business category.
3. Citations: Google uses local directories to broadcast their data on Google. References for your business or business information should be found in these directories for better ranking. Quality and consistency are two important factors in your business citations as they play a major role in your ranking.
4. Reviews: Reviews also have a major role in Google Places ranking. Google analyses reviews from different well known review sites and the information thus collected is analyzed and used as a part of the overall ranking.
Google Places for businesses is a very important and powerful marketing tool. Researches show that majority of consumers tend to buy products or services available locally. Google Places specifically targets those customers. Google Places Optimization always has an edge over any other method used to target users searching for local products and services. If properly done and implemented, your Google Places listing can work wonders for your business. So, be specific when it comes to local search engine optimization.
Alex Smith is a ghost writer for, contributing in search engine optimization, internet marketing, social media marketing and online reputation management to help clients getting high rank and generate targeted traffic from genuine sources.