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Old 07-15-2006   #1
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Google Maps + Reviews In Main Search Results

Not sure if this is new or whether I simply don't go on holiday enough.

Here is a screenshot of what I got after searching for "doubletree hotel san jose" in Google. The results show a Google Map of the hotel, its star rating and links to customer reviews. Looks like Google Local is starting to play an even more integral role in the main search results where a place is named.



Rob

Last edited by evilgreenmonkey : 07-15-2006 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 07-16-2006   #2
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Google Local

I think sites that submitted here are the ones seeing results:
https://www.google.com/local/add/login

My site has:
http://www.google.com/search?complet...ok&btnG=Search
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Old 07-17-2006   #3
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Hi evilgreenmonkey, yes I think you prob don't get away enough

I've been really impressed with Google Map. I am about to start using their API for one domain as location is key. The subtle touches they are introducing like user ratings etc will only increase its popularity. I think they are hitting all the right buttons with this.

Saying that I printed off a G map from A to B at the weekend for a family member, and it took them round the houses apparently! I of course got the blame!
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Old 07-17-2006   #4
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Interesting, I use Windows Live for Aerial photos (you can get closer) and Streetmap for printing off (more accurate details are needed when navigating London).

Have you got an example of it working on UK addresses in the same way?



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Old 07-17-2006   #5
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From what I can find at the moment there doesn't seem to be SERPs with maps included.

Looks like the UK results just include text links to the top destination in that area, for example I searched 'exeter hotel' and got most relevant.

Also, if you search the full address of those hotels you don't get a map come up, even though they are included on Google Map UK. I guess this will evolve similar to the states.
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Old 07-17-2006   #6
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Looks like someone carried on this topic the day after my post:
http://www.threadwatch.org/node/7506
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Old 07-17-2006   #7
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multiple blog mentions

Sorry, evilgreenmonkey, I actually hadn't seen your posting when I posted over at Threadwatch.

The first mention I saw was this spot on ZDNet:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=245

On Threadwatch, people've since opined that this may encourage more review spamming.
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Old 07-17-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver
Sorry, evilgreenmonkey, I actually hadn't seen your posting when I posted over at Threadwatch.
I'll let you off, especially as a new member of SEW.

Look forward to hearing from you more on the forums. We're a friendly bunch so don't be scared off posting




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Old 07-17-2006   #9
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I did a full write up on this today before I saw any of these threads which can be found here:
http://www.ewhisper.net/blog/google-...earch-results/

It looks like the data must be for businesses that are found in Google local. It also looks like it must be unique to an area (i.e. starbucks Chicago doesn't give a map because there are too many) where Google is pretty certain the business you're looking for.

This will be great for small business who often are pushed around in the normal PPC results.

Would like to hear any other insights into how Google is deciding to pull these results.

When images appear in results their CTR is huge, thinking this could be very similar for local businesses as well.
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Old 07-18-2006   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
I think sites that submitted here are the ones seeing results:
https://www.google.com/local/add/login
No, my wife's business submitted there but I can't get her listing to show up in this new format. On the other hand, I have one client who has NOT submitted to Google Local, but does show up on the new format.

As best I can tell at this moment, it's based purely on the business name being unique to the location included in the search.

But there really needs to be more digging on this......
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Old 07-18-2006   #11
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Just a quick update -- I'm seeing several local businesses now with this new SERP display, and these are not businesses that have taken advantage of the listing service Google offers.

I'm ruling that out as a condition for getting your business to show with the new format.
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Old 07-19-2006   #12
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That is an interesting new twist. I've been optimizing my small business for a couple of years now. The biz is small and located in a suburb of a major city. The site is optimized for two adjacent states and the city.

The map showed with a search for the business name and suburb. Actually I see a lot of traffic w/ variations on the three geo areas and many variations on the business service and name.

I'm going to review the map with the many different searches that turn up for the site. My instinct is that very few of the searches will actually turn up w/ the map.

I suspect this will work far better for big name branded locations then for more generic searches for biz/service.

Regardless it is nifty.

Certainly makes me think about better name branding.

Its a nfity little addition to search. I bet its a small step toward moving to monetize Local.

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Old 07-19-2006   #13
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Another quick observation.

I looked at a couple of competing businesses, 4 in total, including my own. two sites are reasonably well optimized and two aren't.

For the sites that are optimized punch in the biz name and city/town...and the the top ten sites seem all reference the biz in question.

For the sites that aren't optimized competing businesses fall right below the site w/the map.

Quick suggestion. Don't only submit to Local. Get some optimization done to your site.

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Old 07-19-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlpearl
My instinct is that very few of the searches will actually turn up w/ the map.
Yeah, they really do err on the side of caution. If they can't pin down both the name and location with certainty to single entities, you don't get the new display.

But I don't see any reason why this couldn't expand. Why not show a map with all the McDonald's in a given city/town? Why not expand it to any location-based search, not just ones with an actual business name -- so that you get the map for "web design topeka ks", too?
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Old 07-19-2006   #15
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I did one more quick look at my biz traffic. My business is located in a suburb of a main city.

I looked back through time toward the beginning of the year.

The first term that would show the map results was the 45th most used term with all of 27 visits out of a total of about 14,000 G visits during that time.

My typical results are 1/3 traffic generic business terms 1/3 traffic is a combo of bus terms with a geo description and the rest have different relevancy to the site or are irrelevant.

Ouch. On this basis the map won't get shown much.

I'm sure it works better for big branded names or well recognized names.

Pretty neat, regardless of the stats.

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Old 07-20-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleeker
But I don't see any reason why this couldn't expand. Why not show a map with all the McDonald's in a given city/town? Why not expand it to any location-based search, not just ones with an actual business name -- so that you get the map for "web design topeka ks", too?
This would turn the main Google search service into Google Local, which they want to keep as a seperate destination. It may also cause confusion as the end-user expects to have one result per slot, not multiple pins on a map.

What would be interesting is whether this would effect AdWords if rolled out globally. When a user searches for a brand followed by a location, they're usually looking to find out where it is, the phone number or customer reviews. With all of this shown on the results page, a user has no need to leave Google. Previous to this One Box, that same user may have clicked on an AdWords link, generating Google easy money.



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Old 07-21-2006   #17
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Originally Posted by evilgreenmonkey
What would be interesting is whether this would effect AdWords if rolled out globally. When a user searches for a brand followed by a location, they're usually looking to find out where it is, the phone number or customer reviews. With all of this shown on the results page, a user has no need to leave Google. Previous to this One Box, that same user may have clicked on an AdWords link, generating Google easy money.
Ask.com has been doing something similar. When you search for certain terms, say "Germany", it gives you relevant info right on top: population, capital, etc. No need to leave Ask if that's what you were after. On Google you get ads on top, so you'll need more clicks to find your info.

So while Ask and now Google with this local business map integration may miss out on an ad click, apparently putting info right there aims to increase volume. I've always wondered how this works out financially at the end.
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Old 07-21-2006   #18
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One can get into Google Local without submitting any information to them. Google crawls the web and looks for addresses, business names, etc that can be normalized to be included within their Local Index.

Has anyone found a business with a map on Google.com that isn't in Google Local (submitted or not)?
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Old 07-21-2006   #19
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Biz Name+Location=Google Maps Result

From what I saw last night, you only get the Google Maps listing when you type in the business name and location. Example: "Cartwright Hotel San Francisco" . If I type in "Cartwright Hotel", they still appear first in the SERPs, but with their regular result.
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Old 07-21-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilgreenmonkey
This would turn the main Google search service into Google Local, which they want to keep as a seperate destination.
Maybe. But to me that's like saying the incorporation of Google Base content in the same spot is turning the main service into Google Base. Ultimately, Google wants to get the information in front of the user's eyes, so it makes sense to let this kind of info. appear whenever it makes sense -- which would be more often than the very limited occasions it appears now.
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