In the early days of Google the company was obviously one dimensional, really Google was just the brain child of Larry Page and Sergey Brin who were trying to help web users find what they were looking for.
Fundamentally the engines still the same but as companies like WebPartners have arisen and tried to manipulate the Google rules to our clients benefit Google has tried to make their engine either counteract those changes or become more sophisticated.
As an overview, Google maps is an area based listing service for websites/companies in area location. So if you search online marketing Auckland it now shows you Auckland based companies that Google thinks do online marketing – pretty simple concept.
Where this gets very interesting and extremely important is Google is allocating a significant part of the front page of a search result for map results.
For example, look at rotorua accommodation below – you will see Google has listed 7 listings on the front page (pushing seven organic listings from the front the second page).
So how do you get on maps and how to you get to the top of the listings?
Getting on is simple you just go to www.google.com/places sign up for a google account (if you don’t already have one) and follow the wizard. Then two weeks later you receive a physical postcard in the mail (to prove you are at that address) with a security code. Once entered your security code as required, you can control what information about your business is displayed on Google Maps.
Getting to the top is a little harder, here's two tips. First one is when filling in the form (on Google places) try to fill every section in. A listing with below 100% will struggle to out rank a complete listing.
Second is Google reviews: under each map listing you will see reviews. For example in the screen shot you will see princess gate has received 23 reviews from different people on Google. The reviews act very similarly to inbound links for organic listings, the more you have the higher over time you go.
There’s a few other points to help on maps but, if you get listed and get reviews, you will move up. My advice is to ask as many people as you can to review your business, hopefully you ask the ones that like you!
Need help with maps? Let us know.