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SEOigloo

Do We Already Have A Local Business Listing?

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Greetings All,

A quick question. A client of ours is currently at in the A position in Google Local Search for their business. However, they want me to continue pursuing local optimization strategies for their website.

 

I went to add them the Google's Local Business Directory, but then I hesitated. If they are at the top of Local Search, does this mean they already have a business listing? I signed into their Google account on the business listing page. All fields in this are at present, blank. Does this mean they have never been listed? If they had been listed, would the information be appearing on this page of the Local Business Center.

 

It says:

"Here's where you can create, edit, or suspend your Google Local business listing."

 

Below that are fields for name, city, etc. They are blank. Yet, clearly from local search, Google knows all of this about them already. I have no memory of creating a listing in the local business listing for them, nor does the client.

 

Is there any way to tell if they have a listing already, and could it potentially help/harm cause a hiccup in their A ranking if I were to fill out the form, if they already have a listing?

 

I'd so appreciate help with this!

Thanks!

Miriam

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A client of yours is currently at the "A" position for a specific query, but it changes based upon the queries used.

 

Local optimization strategies aren't a bad idea, and might help with organic rankings, too.

 

Their business may be listed, Google's local search may show the correct information for the business, but their Google account is probably not associated with that business, which is why the fields are blank.

 

The Local Business Listing is a way for a business to either add themselves, or to verify the information that exists already in Google's Local Search, and possibly add more information to it.

 

Google buys some business information from telecom and other companies, extracts more information from business directories, and grabs even more from other web pages, including possibly, from the web page of the business itself.

 

Even though a business may be listed, that does not mean that anyone has created a business listing for the business with Google.

 

While there's a good chance that adding (or verifying) a business with Google will not change the way they list and rank a business, there's no telling that for certain.

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Thank you, Bill,

I appreciated that reply. For this client, the local rankings are the main thing. They are an elder care provider, and the main objective is to rank well for those searching for elder care in a very small area of the world. So, so far, so good.

 

Interesting to note...a lot of directories I have looked into appear to be taking their listings straight out of Local Search. I keep going to add a listing and discover the listing is already there, and that it exactly matches the Maps one.

 

Having trouble being creative when I keep running into this.

Thanks, Bill!

Miriam

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You're welcome, Miriam.

 

One of the nice things about verifying a business listing is that you can add more information than might show up presently, such as:

 

alternate phone

mobile phone

fax number

TTY/TDD number

Associated email address

website (sometimes Google gets this wrong)

A description of your choice

choices of payment methods.

 

These are optional, and may not be necessary or even appropriate for all listings, but it's nice for instance to put that web address in there so that you are sure they are showing the right web address.

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Hey Miriam, Bill,

 

As we are getting questions about "how do I change my business details on Local search engine xyz" or my business name needs correction" etc. more and more often and the sites seem to "hide" the links to the interfaces to apply these changes I've put together a list of them Here.

 

Once you update your details at one source this does NOT make sure the data will be correct in all the places, as Bill said the engines do use multiple sources ... but as the engines do use deduplication techniques to avoid duplicates to show up in the results, the enhanced, verified most trustworthy entry is very much likely the one to survive ...

 

So to be the Master of your business listing is getting quite complex lately

 

~frank

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Welcome to the Forums, babasave. :wave:

 

That seems to be a very useful list you've created there.

 

My thinking has tended to go in the reverse direction on this. I don't think you should have to chase all the possible listers of your local information. It seems to me that an alternative would be for every domain to have the same minimal standard web page that contained the standard coordinates. I've called that a LURI.

 

What do others think on that?

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Hey Barry,

 

Thanks!

 

I agree, this would work pretty well, you have probably heard about the hcard format that seems to go down a similar route ... at least for web2ground and therefore for all the businesses that do have a website this will help to identify sources more easily. But for the little mum and pop grocery store the problem will remain.

One could say: "All the players should sync their DataBases" but as this is where bucket-loads of money are invested/spent and where most online YP people do make the most amount of money from ... not very likely to happen.

 

My guess this will take some time till resolved ...

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Babasave: welcome to the forum ...and that is a very nice list.

 

Miriam:

 

It is often similarly important to be seen both within the onebox for local search and to show up well for organic search phrases.

 

For instance, to date I have yet to see a g maps insert for a business/ service for an organic query that has a county name or a general area description such as elder care provider northern california.

 

It is highly possible and probable that many queries will be made on G, Y, and MSN for your client's service that will never show in a one box/ or google insert.

 

In those cases you want to optimize the site for a multiple number of potential phrases that cover a large variety of descriptions of the service and of the geography.

 

In a large number of cases searches will be made in organic queries but there won't be onebox/or g maps inserts.

 

Bill had an example of this at seorefugee.

 

Do a search for Philadelphia engineering school(s) in organic search

 

Then repeat the effort with Philadelphia engineering classes, Philadelphia engineering course(s), Philadelphia or Philly engineering program etc.

 

Some will show up with onebox inserts and some won't.

 

I can virtually guarantee you that there will be a fair number of queries that will use all those and other similar phrases that can all represent the same or a similar idea.

 

Optimally, you want to rank well for all the variations on the phrase and optimally both in the onebox and also within organic search.

 

It is the best way to access the most visitors.

 

Dave

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Super list Babasave! Thanks for sharing that.

 

For instance, to date I have yet to see a g maps insert for a business/ service for an organic query that has a county name or a general area description such as elder care provider northern california.

 

This is interesting, EarlPearl. It's funny...in this instance the client is #1 for their city/term. But no OneBox. So in this instance, even drilling down to a very specific location (not county or region) is not bringing up the Onebox. I guess things just are not standardized with this yet.

 

I really appreciate all the great feedback.

Miriam

 

I wanted to add that I found this article helpful, in case anyone else is looking for more information:

http://www.smallbusinesssem.com/2007/02/16...earch-algorithm

Edited by SEOigloo

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Really great to have you join us here, Frank.

 

That's a great list. Thanks for letting us know about it.

 

I see a few that I haven't submitted to. This could keep me up late tonight.

 

...but as the engines do use deduplication techniques to avoid duplicates to show up in the results, the enhanced, verified most trustworthy entry is very much likely the one to survive ...

 

I'd like to see that, and I think that there are some strong efforts being undertaken to make it happen. I've seen more than a couple of patent applications on the subject.

 

I was asked by someone one day why a certain address was showing for a business, after the business had moved from that address a year or so earlier. Some of the reasons I saw:

 

1. They had a number of documents on their own site with addresses that hadn't been updated with the new address, even though a few pages had been.

 

2. They had a number of online directory listings that they had control over that they hadn't changed to the new address.

 

3. They had done a great job of promoting the business at the old address, including many different ways of getting the word out about their business from press releases, to multiple mentions in online newspapers, magazines, and business related sites - all of which included some parts of their address.

 

So, to some degree they had some control over which address was showing for them. Changing the things that they could, asking for others to make changes where it seemed possible that they might, and continuing with their promotional efforts involving the new address finally got local search to now show them at the right address.

 

As can be seen from my example though, sometimes even the most trustworthy sources don't even have the information completely correct.

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Hey Bill,

 

As can be seen from my example though, sometimes even the most trustworthy sources don't even have the information completely correct.

 

True and as you can imagine this will never really disappear... This is how large scale systems work, there are always little downsides - think about link-spam on edu or gov sites in web search >> highly trustworthy sources but vulnerable as well - and yes it should be way easier to stay in control of your business details on the web. But the web today just consists of too many separated silos - Dick Hardt's Identity 2.0 Keynote kind of hits the spot - just assume personal identity=business identity

 

Frank

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