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Changes to Google Places and how it effects local SEO

11-29-2010 09:21 AM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: The BIG Agency

/ PR Agency: The BIG Agency
Ringwood, Hampshire ( ) November 26, 2010 - Google has recently rebranded its 'Local Business Center' to 'Google Places' while also making some radical new changes to the product.

The search engine giant has taken a directory approach with places and will automatically add new businesses with data it finds in databases, it is then up to the business owner to claim their business page.

The changes currently being made are going to be gradually rolled out depending on business type and location.

Google, is by far the worlds largest search engine, with over 67% of the search engine market, currently rolls in data from many sources whenever a user enters a local search query, such as, "plumber, London." The link to your web site is no longer the most significant element of the results page.

"Google has decided to participate in the publishing world, not only as a search engine that feeds users to other sites," says Louis Gagnon, chief product and marketing officer for Yodle, a company that helps local businesses connect with consumers online. "Now, they are more of a directory."

Google Places is like a directory listing. A business owner can "claim" the page on Google and enter their information. For those who don't, Google automatically generates a Place page based on info it finds in databases. The latest round of changes the search provider has made makes it more important than ever for you to claim your place page.

These adaptations are being rolled out steadily. Depending on the search term and the location, you may or not see them yet or only see them on some search queries.

The main new change is Google Place has become a new way to search. Once users have entered their search query. The first page of results will show a list of options for refining the search on the left-hand side of the page. The list may include images, videos, or books. Now, Places is one of the options. This should help speed and refine some searches.

There are other changes to the way search results are shown which will make any decent SEO Company ( ) check their online campaigns. Google Place Search has now replaced the mapped listings and also the places listings push the rest of the organic listings below the fold. SEM agencies will now need to ensure that their client's sites are added to 'Google Place'.

Research will now have to be made to see what factors will affect where your site is ranked in the Google Places system. Reviews from other sites and listings in local directories are the main suggestions for improving rankings.

The fact that a well optimised site that was once top of the first page can now be pushed down to eighth! Which means digital marketing agencies ( ) will have to alter their local search optimisation campaigns, and fast before the new system is rolled out completely.


The BIG Agency is a leading UK digital marketing agency with clients across a number of different industries, such as environmental services, catering, finance, franchising, manufacturing, technology, publishing, pharmaceuticals, education, retail and covers both business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C).

The BIG Agency
43 Southampton Road
Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1HE
United Kingdom

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