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Google launches Place Search

Google has launched Place Search formerly Local Business Center, this is a brand new feature which produces results based solely around locations, in a bid to make its search offering more ‘local’.

Google users and your customers can search for an activity in a certain place, or a type of restaurant, for example Italian in London search engine results will show all the places in that location which match the search query in a new dynamic format.

As well as the usual linear list of search results where businesses use Search Engine Optimisation to get high up on the first page, a Google map will also appear, with a series of red pins, showing the results on a map, and a user can click on the list of displayed review sites to find out which result suits them best, such as

  • qype.com
  • tripadvisor.com
  • zagat.com
  • urbanpath.com
  • touchlocal.com – ( my ex-emplyer I used to do in-house SEO for! )
So what’s new about Google Places?

Place Search groups the results, map and reviews sites in a new way.

Place Search is a new kind of local search result that organises the world’s information around places or geographic locations.

Google has clustered search results around specific locations so the user can easily make comparisons and decide where to go faster.

Do you have to include any special text on your Search Engine Query?

Place Search results show automatically on Google when Google predict you’re looking for local information. Just do a local search, For example: plumber nottingham, kitchen fitter Kent, chinese restaurant cardiff

You will now find a new link for “Places” in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.

For example, if I want to go to an Italian Restaurant in London but a search for italian doesn’t automatically show me Place Search results. If I click “Places” I get the new view. There I can now see places to go and eat an Italian meal

Google have now automatically identified when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.

Look at this screen shot for an example,

Google is now prioritising location-based services which is pushing the importance of localised Search Marketing for businesses.

If you were the Italian restaurant business owner in the example above you could easily benefit from this latest update from Google. As your potential customer I would be looking at your reviews and promimity either using my Computer I’ve been working on that day or using my iphone when I’m ready to eat.

The new dashboard within Google Places will also now let the business owner dig deeper into the data using easy to understand lists, maps and graphs like this one, which measures all of the impressions (how many times the listing has been shown and actions (in this case clicks) for a hotel’s business listing:

Other developments with Localised Search Engine Marketing.

Online Location-based services, such as Foursquare and the recently launched Facebook Places are driving to tap into the value of real-time, locally served advertising, made possible by smart devices like your iphone or Android phone.

By implementing a good Search Engine strategy your business can make the most of this and turn visits into real business.

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