Archive for the ‘Google Places’ Category

Google Places Pages: Over 4 Million Businesses Claimed

March 21, 2011

Saw this ad for Google Places and thought it was interesting – 4 million businesses have claimed their Google Page.

Google Places Pages: Over 4 Million Businesses Claimed

Google Places Pages: Over 4 Million Businesses Claimed

 

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Google Boost: Will It Boost Google’s Bottom Line?

February 17, 2011

I received the following offer for Google Boost in my Google Places account today.

Google Boost

Google Boost

Google Boost isn’t yet available in my market.

Google Boost Sign Up

Google Boost Sign Up

if I were to guess about the prospect’s for Google Boost’s future, I would guess its sales will be infinitesimal and thus in the end will have no material impact on Google’s bottom line.

Alternative Methods For Verifying Google Places Bulk Upload Requests

January 18, 2011

If you are a third party agent attempting to verify a Google Places bulk upload request you may find your initial request rejected.

Google Places Bulk Upload Verification Part II

Google Places Bulk Upload Verification Part II

If so, Google Places offers two alternative methods for submitting and verifying a bulk upload request.

The two methods are:

1. Create a new Google Places account using an email address from your company’s website domain. For example, if we created an account for Google, we’d use an @google.com email address as the account’s email address. From there, upload the data file and request verification again using this new account. These requests will be resolved quickly.

2. Respond to this email and carbon copy (CC) a person who has an email address with a business domain. So again, if we were uploading listings for Google, we’d CC someone with an @google.com email address. Then, this person should reply all and give written permission for Google to verify the account. The response can be as simple as “Please verify the listings in the Google Places account, exampleplacesaccount@gmail.com.” We’d like to emphasize that, while we’ll accept this form of verification, using generic email addresses isn’t recommended, and we recommend the usage of a corporate domain email for account management.

While Google’s need for an email from an account holder’s corporate domain address to verify a Google Places bulk upload request sounds logical, it doesn’t take into consideration the fact that this particular request came from the corporate Google account of the company associated with their Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts!

Additionally, the corporate contact name and phone number was listed on the original upload request.

No matter…

Here is the conclusion of their email response:

Once you’ve done this, we’ll process your request and follow up with a confirmation email. If you don’t follow either of the two actions above, we’ll assume you aren’t authorized to upload the listings and won’t verify the account.

Thanks for your understanding.

Regards,
The Google Team

Based on this email, it appears to me Google assumes that any bulk Places upload request that comes from any email address  other than that of the corporate domain – even an otherwise authenticated Gmail account – is illegitimate.

Google Places Bulk Upload Verification Confirmation Email

January 11, 2011

A couple days ago, I wrote about verifying bulk listings in Google Places and my concern about the process.

My concerns have been alleviated to some degree because I have since received a confirmation email from the “Google Team” about my bulk upload verification request.

Google Places Bulk Verification Confirmation Email

Google Places Bulk Verification Confirmation Email

Even more reassuring – the Google Team email comes from “Local Help”.

While I am not absolutely certain, I don’t recall ever receiving an email from Google regarding any other issue I have had with a Google Places listing.

Maybe Google really is taking communication with local businesses seriously.

At least in this case, the Google Local Help Team appears to be concerned enough with  bulk verification upload requests enough to provide an email response.

Because I have received an email confirmation from the Google “Local Help” team, I am somewhat optimistic their bulk verification upload process may actually produce the successful publishing of my bulk Google Places listings.

Local Listing; National Google Maps Search Result

January 10, 2011

Over the last several months, one of the top search queries appearing in my Google Places dashboard has been “AdWords”.

Odd…

My market isn’t known for outsize Google AdWords demand.

At quick look in Google Maps with my location set yields a first place listing in Google Maps for AdWords.

Google Maps Location Set

Google Maps Location Set

Great!

Problem is – I just don’t think local search traffic alone could account for the traffic showing up in my Google Places dashboard for AdWords.

I then decided to search Google Maps without having set my default location.

Google Maps Sans Default Location

Google Maps Sans Default Location

A search for AdWords in Google Maps without setting a default location produces a set of results for the entire U.S.

The results were somewhat surprising…

Again a first place listing for AdWords.

This time though for the entire list of Adwords results in Google Maps within the United States…

Google Maps U.S. Results Adwords

Google Maps U.S. Results Adwords

This type of search result could explain why I am seeing Adwords as one of the top local search queries in my Google Places account.

How To Get Google Offers On Your Google Homepage

January 6, 2011

Yes, there is a Google gadget for that…

How To Get Google Local Offers

How To Get Google Local Offers

Once activated within an iGoogle homepage, the gadget automatically detects location with your permission or you can enter another location of your choice.

Entering a search term in the Google Offers gadget produces a list of merchants from within the selected area who have created offers in their Google Places account.

Google Offers Gadget

Google Offers Gadget

Clicking the “View map” option takes gadget users to a Google Map to view the location of available offers.

Google Offers Map

Google Offers Map

Users can then click through to the advertiser’s Google Places page –

Google Places Page

Google Places Page

or the advertiser’s Google offer page where they can then print out the advertiser’s offer.

Google Offer Page

Google Offer Page

I expect to see  further Google offer development and distribution options like those found in the Google Offers gadget in the near future.

Facebook Page In Google Places Results

November 20, 2010

I thought the following three pack of Google Places results was unusual but also quite instructive.

While there isn’t anything unusual about seeing Google Maps results appear in a list of local results within Google, I hadn’t ever seen anything other than Google Maps results there before.

I think presenting a Facebook page as part of the “Places” results is new.

Google Places Facebook Listing

Google Places Facebook Listing

In this particular example, the business owner has both a Facebook page and a Google Places page that appear in the results.

It looks like Google might have had to crawl the business owner’s Google Places page first to generate the Facebook link and result in the Google three pack.

Google Maps Facebook Link

Google Maps Facebook Link

Regardless of which came first – the Google Place account or the Facebook business page – the marketing possibilities for the yet as unlisted or unsearchable business are exciting.

If having a Facebook business page alone is enough to get listed in Google Places results, what is keeping all the small businesses without websites or directory listings from instead setting up a Facebook business listing and linking it to a Google Places account?

Google Places: Google?

November 10, 2010

With the recent launch of Google Places, I have become more interested in learning what is any differences exist between Places and Google’s other local search engine property – Google Maps.

While I am still in the research phase, I have found one puzzling result in both Google Places and Google Maps – a search for “Google” itself.

While Google Places and Google Maps use a searchers IP address or Google account to determine a searchers address and intent, neither property has yet figured out how to properly deliver the correct search results for “Google”.

Google Places Google

Google Places Google

This same search result error occurred for several years in Google Maps and now seems to have made its way over to Google Places.

Google Maps Google

Google Maps Google

To Google’s credit, searching for Google directly from Google Maps doesn’t appear to produce this type of search result any longer.

However, the errors do occur after searching on Google.com and then clicking the Places or Maps tab which Google apparently interprets as a new search for local results.

Regardless, I don’t think searchers or Google the brand are expecting these types of search results for the keyword Google in either Google Places or Google Maps.

Do you get the same results in Google Places and Google Maps at your place or is this just a one off search results error?

Google AdWords Location Extensions

October 29, 2010

What are Google AdWords Location Extensions?

Location extensions allow you to extend your Google AdWords campaigns by dynamically attaching your business address to your ads.

In addition to the description lines and URL that appear in your ad text, your AdWords ad can also display your business name, address, and telephone number.

This helps promote your business, brand, products, and services, and associates your business with a specific location of interest to the user.

Location extensions were originally activated from within the Settings section of AdWords campaigns.

Ad Extensions Campaign Settings

Ad Extensions Campaign Settings

However, Ad Extensions have since been moved to the Tabs level in Campaigns.

Ad Extension Options

Ad Extension Options

AdWords location extensions can be linked to a Google Places account or use a manually entered address.

Google AdWords Location Extension Statistics

Google AdWords Location Extension Statistics

Any advertising activity generated by location extensions also produces statistics in the AdWords advertisers account.

Location extensions when used properly can provide an additional level of differentiation and visibility at a time when and a place where searchers are searching for a local solution.

Google AdWords Location Extensions

Google AdWords Location Extensions

Place Optimization: Sample Place SEO

October 28, 2010

With the advent of Google Place Search, won’t the practice of Place SEO soon follow?

Pounding away at national and local online marketing for longer than I care to remember, it now appears my work hasn’t been in vain.

In the sample Google Places page below (reached from an incognito browser), both my Google Adwords paid search ad and my Google Places listing sit atop Google’s new Places results page.

Place SEO

Place SEO

A quick check of several other keywords relevant to my business produced similar results.

As an added bonus, my expanded paid and organic place results occupy roughly 50% of the available screen real estate above the fold.

From a marketer’s perspective, it looks like everything has fallen into place – the right place.