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Getting Ranked In Google Maps

Up Close with Google Maps & Local at SMX West

In the session "Up Close with Google Maps & Local" the panel focused on factors that influence what appears and how it is ranked.
(Coverage of SMX West continues at WebProNews Videos. Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)
David Mihm, Director & COO of GetListed.org, said there are three sources where Google Maps/Local comes from. They include Google Local Business Center, third party data feeds and web crawling.
It's important to claim your listing at the Google Local Business Center because it gives Google much higher confidence in your listing.
Also claim your listing at the following:
  • infoUSA
  • Localeze
  • Yahoo
  • InsiderPages
  • UniversalBusinessListing.org
  • OpenList.com
  • CityVoter.com
Get involved in your local community online, including nonprofits and chamber of commerce.
Chris Silver Smith, Director of Optimization Strategy, KeyRelevance, spoke about influencing rankings in Google Maps and local.
Top 4 ranking factors in Google maps
  • 1. Proximity of address to centroid
  • 2. Positive reviews and # of reviews
  • 3. Overall SEO health of business website
  • 4. Keyword relevancy
Associate your business listing with all categories that apply (abbreviations, nicknames, etc.)
Additional elements:
Include local address and phone in plain text on:
  • homepage
  • Contact us page
  • locations or maps page
Build a webpage on your site and include one for each city. Add details about that city and the type of services you provide. You don't need a site for each location. Get listed in Google through a third party or rent a post box in a city to obtain an address.
Google will show a non-pinpoint marker when unable to identify a location.
Steve Espinosa, Director of Innovation, eLocal Listing, said to use Yahoo because Google crawls Yahoo Local listings
Standout = More calls
5 star reviews
Yahoo Enhances Listing
Put video on a separate Web page. "Each video gets picked up for a Web reference," said Espinosa.
Research your competitors and use social media. Create a Twitter account for your local business and also use MySpace, Facebook and UpComing.
Jennifer Chin, Consumer Operations Strategist, Google. Chin said the "most trusted listings is provided by the listing owner."
To control a listing claim it or do a community edit. "Google is reviewing edits to listings and improving verification in the Local Business Center," said Chin. "Google is working really hard to take spammers down."

Source: http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/02/10/getting-ranked-in-google-maps
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