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DIY Canadian SEO: Google PlaceSearch & YOU!

November 25, 2010 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: SEO 

After almost a full month of study, testing, analyzing and yes even some “praying,” the new blend between Google LOCAL/Places and it’s Web Results has been banged away at and we’re (so far) pretty happy, eh!

Oh, background. Info of course on this big change in Google and what they now show (as of Oct 27th) for Web Results can be found here. Google named this new blend it’s “Google Place Search” and while many of us have agreed with that term, our own Poll on same found that Mike Blumenthals’ own “Loco-Organic” was the choice of us SEO practitioners…but call it whatever you want, it’s here to stay, eh!

According to Google, this new blend of both LOCAL/Places and it’s usual Web Results was based on their thinking that this kind of search organizes the world’s information around places.  They clustered their Web Results search results around specific locations so any searcher, can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go….all IMHO not a bad idea. Course, like in all things, it’s the follow through with the actual implementation that is most important.

In no particular order, many many “bugs” appeared in this implementation…and have all been blogged about, discussed, found out about, pointed at, ranted about — you name it, and the SEO community has covered this implementation at some great length over the past month or so. We all felt, at least IMHO, that the implementation of this new Google Place Search blended index/results was “not ready for prime time!” There were too many “oopsies!” and “dang its!” for those of us who run SEO Campaigns to be able to count on our client rosters to find “balance” in this new index. Too many items like Reviews that disappeared, then came back or that seemed to be spammy and then maybe not was and continues to be a bone of contention for most of us. Add in other changes to the Place Search index that some of us have noticed, and you can see that us SEO practitioners are all at the monitor morning, noon and night. There is so so so much to check and learn then query others in the SEO community, that for the most part some of us have forgotten about personal time, the kids, the spouse and yup, even anything but this new Google index.

That said, our own clients “appear” at this point to be okay. We have always been pretty adamant about forging new MAPs/Places company pages for all of them and we push hard till each is up at 100%. That simple tactic, though often hard to accomplish in some cases, appears to somehow “count” muchly for the new Google Place Search algo and we’re happy about that. At the same time, the normal regular Web Results in google.ca appear to be somewhat changed in the past 12 days or so, we’ve found. Most of our SEO Campaign serp rankings have stablized now, but a few still fluctuate slightly at about 4 % to 7% or so…and that’s somewhat worrisome as all other facets of each of those client SEO Campaigns appears to be balanced. We continue to run daily serp results and we continue to hypothesize about those fluctuations and while the definitive answer still is elusive, we work on to try to come up with answers.

And then in the last few days, along comes the Google HotPot. Um…what’s that you ask? In basic terms, this is Google’s local recommendation engine powered by you and your friends. Yup. That’s what it is, or so Google says as they try to make local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant and trustworthy. Think Google HotPot — but then think “social reviews” is what most of us SEO types figure. Google has added their HotPot rating app too, so that you can rate or rank say a local restaurant — a la Yelp, eh! Let’s take a look at this, here in google.ca land, shall we?

You can see clearly if you enter say “Hamilton restaurants” into g.ca, then click on the Places tag in the left hand side-bar, and then look over the various listings. See one you’ d  like to know more about? Then click on their Places page, which will also have the total number of reviews listed too – I picked the Ancaster Old Mill, and once you land on their Places page, the reviews are there to be seen.

First from “around the Web” which features reviews aggragated from places like restaurant.ca or opentable.ca or tripadvisor.ca, like this screenshot shows.

As you’ll note, there are only the most recent top 3 shown usually (not always it appears and that’s a bug we think that exists in the google Places filter that should at least attempt to show the same number of these reviews from around the web so that we can “plan” our displays for our clients!

Each of these reviews by the way includes in the small favicon for that review site, for example the one review that is number one from restaurantica.com shows that sites logo — and a click on that site opens up a new page from restaurantica.com that shows a long scrolling page with all 42 reviews of this restaurant.

Oh – side bar here — they show ALL the reviews, good or bad and they are un-censored and the restaurant can not delete any. This is the spot where the “rubber hits the road” for online reputation managment as this new Google Places page aggregates ALL reviews right there for your prospective customers to read….and make a decision. I’ve no idea on whether or not this restaurant will face the reviews that I read there that did NOT like their food/service…but this is what Place Search is all about….as everything is there for anyone to see…

And yes, there is more to discuss on that new Places page and yes we’re still working on same and will follow up more about that in the near future….as well as the new just launched review process changes….but till then you’re thinking you want to know more? Simple…there are a ton of spots to learn more about this new Google Place Search….and here’s a short but very solidly dependable list of experts you can go and read/research on their own pov’s and their blog comments are usually packed with many other SEO practitioners who comment on their own client specifics….

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  1. Zoomit.ca says:

    DIY Canadian SEO: Google PlaceSearch & YOU!…

    After almost a full month of study, testing, analyzing and yes even some “praying,” the new blend between Google LOCAL/Places and it’s Web Results has been banged away at and we’re (so far) pretty happy, eh! Oh, background. Info of course on this big c…

  2. SERPD says:

    DIY Canadian SEO: Google PlaceSearch & YOU!…

    After almost a full month of study, testing, analyzing and yes even some “praying,” the new blend between Google LOCAL/Places and it’s Web Results has been banged away at and we’re (so far) pr……

  3. BizSugar.com says:

    DIY Canadian SEO: Google PlaceSearch & YOU!…

    After almost a full month of study, testing, analyzing and yes even some “praying,” the new blend between Google LOCAL/Places and it’s Web Results has been banged away at and we’re (so far) pretty happy, eh! Oh, background. Info of course on this big c…

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