What is Google Places?

by Square One Web Solutions

what is google places?As a business owner, I am sure that you know that getting your business listed on the first page of Google is a great thing. It allows customers that know of your business find you easily, but it also reaches many potential customers that may not have heard of your business. However, how do you go about getting onto the first page of Google? Well, in the past it could be pretty tricky, especially if you were in a competitive market. It can still be pretty tough, but Google Places does make it a lot easier for local businesses to make the first page.

Before we go any further, you need to know that Google’s number one priority is to give their searcher a good experience. They want people to be able to find what it is that they are looking for quickly and easily. And they realize that larger companies¬† who were tech savvy and had money to spend could often make their way up onto the first page of the search results, while many local businesses were often buried much further down. This was not good for Google, and here’s why. Let’s say someone searched for a plumber in Whittier, using the search term Whittier plumber. Any business, anywhere in the country had an equal chance of showing up on the first page of Google’s search results if they were optimizing their site and targeting the keyword “Whittier plumber” (this is really oversimplified, I know). So Google decided to introduce Google places to give local, geo-targeted results to geo-targeted searches.

Here is a picture of the search results for Whittier plumber.

Google Places Picture

This is a great thing for local businesses. Now, whenever a searcher enters a keyword that is geo-targeted (uses a city or a zip code along with the type of business that they are looking for) Google displays their Google places results at or near the top of the first page of results. This image is a screenshot of the search results for Whittier plumber, and you will see that there are a few results above the Google places results, but those are the paid ads that Google will always place at the very top of the page. You will also notice that there is a map on the right showing where each business is located, and that several of the listings have reviews (look for the yellow stars). This gives the searchers a much better experience from Google’s perspective, and it really has given local businesses a chance to compete on a fraction of the budget of the major companies vying for the same keywords.

So, how do you take advantage of this as a local business owner? You can do it yourself (and it really isn’t that hard) or you can have a web marketing company take care of it for you. If you want to do it yourself, check out our guide to getting your business listed in Google Places. If you would prefer to have someone else handle it for you, click on the get a quote button and select Google Places as the service you are interested in. It’s one of the least expensive and most effective services that we offer.

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