2nd February 2014
To say things never sit still at Google is an understatement. Once again they have defied logic and removed what was a very valuable tool (Google Places) for mobile and desktop users to find local businesses when the Google Places listing did not show up.
For example see above.
So now if a local search does not appear the user has no other option to find a local business easily apart from Google Maps which sometimes shows streets and sometimes shows businesses depending on what you type in. Interestingly the software we use that tracks Google Places listings for our clients has now moved from tracking Places to tracking Maps, with out a mention to the users.
I tried a map search just now and it worked quite well although I can’t see the uptake on this being very high amongst Google users. However we could be pleasantly surprised 🙂
Confused? Well don’t be, as Google explain if very simply when they did not announce the change but rather answered 1000’s of questions that flooded in. They said from now on you search through their social media platform Google Plus. Google Plus has been getting a lot of focus lately however most users I know find it confusing and do not not use it. As far as finding local businesses see below for that outcome.
Personally I think it Google Plus is a great social media tool however for finding local businesses as Google suggests, it fails miserably. Or have I missed something?
I just tried a search for “Tyres Auckland” and instead of finding a local businesses I get listings with hash tags for tyres from other google plus users and then recommendations from business owners promoting their own business via “posts”. How is this beneficial to me. I am not sure and the post that was from a business was 30 km away.
So we will do what we always have done for our clients and that is focus on the organic rankings and cover off Google Places also. We always try to rank websites above Google Places or if no Google places then on front page preferably at the top (Can take up to a year in competitive niches if done in a manner that is going to stay) and this brings our clients high volumes of targeted traffic.
Talk to one of the Touch team for more information.
Cheers Craig Connelly