Local Search

Top 7 Tricks to Rank in Google Places

If you’ve worked with Google in the past you’ll know just how hard it is to rank for Google Places for many searches. It’s also apparent how important Google Places have become – they often take up the top parts of the page for a search term. So even if you rank first for a certain keyword, you could see three to six Google Places ranking above you. The question is, what tricks can you use to secure your spot?

1. Set Up

First of all you have to set up your business page, which can be done by completing your profile on Google Places. All you need is a Google Account which is free and easy to set up, then onto the more interesting stuff.

2. Citations

If you don’t know what a citation is (you should if you’re reading this), it is basically a mention of your business on another site. As close as you can get to the exact match of your Google Places listing the better. So if you have your link, description, contact information or anything else, make sure it matches to your Google Places page. This will also help your organic rankings as well – it serves a dual purpose.

3. Get Listed

This is important to get the best citations. They can come from pages such as Yahoo, Superpages, Insiderpages, Angie’s List and many more, but these are the ones that are regarded as giving you the most juice. This will allow you to give Google all the relevant information about your business. You will want to make sure that your details are comprehensive because filling out as many fields as possible can really help with your rankings for all different kinds of search phrases.

4. Make Sure of the Accuracy of your citations

You will need to go back and check that all your existing citations are correct, as well as the ones you are getting listed – there is no point in getting listed with the wrong information. Make sure your citations have accurate names, addresses and the correct phone numbers. It has even been thought that providing a physical address can help your placing. It is important to ensure that your website details are correct but more importantly that the data on your website is correct and the same as these citations.

5. Build more local links

Not simply the general SEO link building back to your site, but more local links that mention your business name, address, phone number and URL. As with normal SEO you can include them in forms of social media and posts, but it would be beneficial to get these links from other sites such as bloggers, business sites and directories because they act as a sort of review.

6. Reviews

Now onto reviews and as hinted above, reviews are strong links that show trust. Reviews are important to both getting the citation indexed and ranked highly in Google as well as propelling the Google Places listing. You will want to get as many reviews as you possibly can on as many different sites as you can, this will help a lot in improving your ranking. You can get people to review by encouraging customers and suppliers to do it, or by securing mutual agreement reviews from businesses in the same industry to help get the review ball rolling.

7. Make updates to your places page

Just by changing the main areas of your Google Places page, you can create a jump in rankings. You don’t have to edit the images and videos, but in my experience, just by editing the description and related areas can make a difference.

Cale Pissarra

Cale Pissarra

Cale Pissarra works at R.O.I. Media as a SEO consultant. His passion for social media and the online world led him search engine optimization
Cale Pissarra

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29 thoughts on “Top 7 Tricks to Rank in Google Places

  1. I am gonna try it out straight away. My business will benefit largely from good positions in Google Places

  2. Good points Cale!

    I wanted to reinforce and add a couple things.

    The most common reason businesses get banned in Google Places is for adding extra keywords and/or city to the business name. PLUS this messes up your citations, because they need to be an EXACT match and now you’ve changed your business name.

    2nd most common mistake is adding city to categories. Don’t do it.

    I also wanted to remind everyone that regular SEO factors carry the most weight right now, with the new Google Local MERGED algo that started showing up Oct 27th. When I broke the story about my discovery of the new merged layout on Mike Blumenthal’s blog way back in July, I didn’t realize the entire algo and local search game would be changing.

    Since then I’ve done lots of reverse engineering of the algo and here is my take on things. The OLD Google Places algo used 50 ranking factors that most people know by now. NAP consistency, reviews, citations, location and many of the things we cover in David Mihm’s Local Ranking Factors (which is the industry bible for local.)

    However the new MERGED (blended 0-Pack) algo is much more reliant on your web site and traditional organic SEO factors. PLUS it takes having certain local hooks to tie it all together or the merged listing won’t happen.

    So reviews and citations don’t carry as much weight with the new MERGED algo as they did prior to Oct. 27th. (As of today, subject to change on G’s whims. ;-))

    NOTE: You still need to optimize the site and Place page however, because there are 2 algos at play.  Many keywords still pull the old 7 pack style layout and when you see that format the OLD algo is at play which is weighted more toward # of citations and reviews. A little hard to explain without pics. I’m doing a big post today with screen shots that illustrates how the new merged algo works.

    Hope this helps!
    Linda

  3. Since Google Places results appear before organic results, this is a great way for a business to rank powerfully for local searches. Can’t recommend enough that local organizations take Google Places seriously.

  4. Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for generously sharing this useful info. Especially appreciate the acknowledgment that for some businesses, the goal may not be tens of thousands of fans but a few hundred solid ones.
     

  5. First step in optimizing the Places account is to be as descriptive as possible and fill up all the forms. Reviews also help a lot. Be sure you add your business on Google Maps too. With the growth of mobile market, particularly Android’s this can be a plus.

  6. Hi Guys

    I just wanted to know if anybody has tried building links to your actual Google Places Page and how effective was that?

  7. Nice post,I need some guidance from you,i am new to the seo world,I am worried about ranking in Google.thank you.

  8. Hi ,
    I have lost my Google Place ranking and have done every thing  to get it again but unable to get it yet could anyone suggest me something what i  have to do to get it again

    thanks
    Addictive Media
     

  9. Nicely done article. If there’s one piece of advice I pass onto clients is to take ownership of their Google Places listing!

  10. I have done experiment on neerajbhavandotcom, now i am ranking on google palace(budget hotel in rishikesh),  i want to rank “hotel in rishikesh”  please anyone suggest me , what i will do?  

  11. Hey Darren, you asked if anyone was linking to the places page-I have been experimenting with this and to Linda’s point; I use the exact phrase that is on the page. I’ll let you know if this helps in a considerable way!

  12. I have been working on my business page for quiet few months, and I can not emphasize enough on the importance of reviews.

  13. Well, I listed my company accurately. But the problem was – my competitors used minifreelance to get good reviews and rating for themselves that I did not do. I felt cheated.

  14. Ok interesting point on Google places. I recently created a page for a client and thier address is literally Palm Street. It got blocked as a spam word….now really! when I separated it with a space I got blocked but when I added the 2 words together? It got verified.

    I have searched a lot for an answer but no go?

    any ideas anyone?