Google has a search layout that has undergone a change once again, after a change recently in their Place listings that took place October 27th. There are so many more people performing online searches looking for products and/or services, rather than doing their browsing through the paperback phone directories, that Google has come up with a more comprehensive way for users to find localized relevant content – and quickly.
If you’d done an searching yourself lately, then you may have notices that Google’s Place listings have been merged with organic listing via their search results. Before this update took occurred, the Place listings were displayed like clusters of results up at the top on each page. But now the listings show up in red letter red pin icons on the search results, and a corresponding map appears on the right-hand side above their sponsored links. This map will move on the page, up and down, while you are navigating your results.
This new merger for the listings contains a whole lot more information than it did before. These Google Place listings will now include content that is user-generated, like average review ratings, reviews, images, company descriptions, physical addresses, website links, and even contact phone numbers.
Another crucial part of this change is in how much real estate the listings take up in their first page of results. There are now eight Place listings, integrated, showing up with each search. So you might wonder what this means to you and your website.
Your actual results when you search are pretty much the same, but it’s in the display where the difference occurs. Businesses that have a listing with Google can capitalize on this new layout by getting their integrated listings to show in Google’s search results.
You may be wondering now about what happens if you don’t have one of these Google Place listing? Well, then you risk fading back into the more standard type of organic search results, and this can affect whatever you local search traffic has been. It’s important to understand, that a lot of Place listings are created automatically via a listing known as ‘Finda Business Directory’. So if you haven’t yet set up your Place listing yourself, you might have one and not be aware. If this is so, then you need to claim that listing.
I know. Now you want to know why you should claim your listing. By claiming your listing, you will gain some control over how and what gets displayed on the search results. It’s important to raise the chances of getting click-throughs to your site. And this is probably not going to happen if you leave it to the auto-generated listing with just your business name being displayed. Once you’ve claimed your listing, you can update any images, ensure your contact information is displayed correctly, oversee any purchase information like methods, etc. And a good move to make also is asking your clients to put some reviews on your listing. Some of the recent polls taken online show a real positives relationship exists between reviews of customers and their evaluations and new customer buying decisions.
Should you be claiming a listing that contains incorrect information, be sure your business profile is updated in other online directories as well.