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Old 10-27-2010   #1
GAustralia
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Question NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Hello SEW-

Today I noticed that the Google Maps listings and the organic listings combined into one. For searches where the Google map would show previously; by the organic listings were the A to F place markers, plus business address below listing, and map now and stays in upper right hand corner.

Any comments?
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Old 10-27-2010   #2
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

can you grab a screen shot
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Old 10-27-2010   #3
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Hello -

Here is the screen shot. I found it works in Explorer and FireFox but not Chrome. Search: Sydney Plumber

http://www.google.com.au/#sclient=ps...1802b42ea38650

In this one the organic takes a picture from the map listing.

Regards, GAustralia
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Old 10-31-2010   #4
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Search Watch -

The recent changes to Google Places is big. I see 251 have viewed the post yet no comments. Perhaps some are in shock or some busy taking advantage of the changes.

Will try to get some discussion going.

? Where is a good place to see some analysis/commentary on this change? Where as in other websites?

I believe Search Watch is a good place for such commentary as I know there are relative heavyweights in SEO who use the site. I'll take an anti-spam tack for now to try to get things going:

There were a few notable changes in the search results in the week preceding the big recent change with Google Places. There was a crack down on some organizations who stuffed keywords into their Google Places business name - even stuffed them to the character limit allowed. Yet there were a number of spammy outfits left alone and now less obvious as their spammy "company names" don't immediately show up in the results - you have to go into the detail of the listings to see these names.

The crack down makes sense and is part of a trend with Google. I think it was about a year ago Google went from 10 map listings to 7 and also during this time it became more difficult to show up/rank within the maps.

This recent crack down helped clear the way for the changes in Google Places, making it more difficult to "game" the map listings and thereby "game" the rankings in the new system, and is a long overdue reward to those who follow the Google Places listings guidelines (some day Google will crack down more on those with multiple websites trying to clog the listings). Organizations were copying others keyword stuffing their listings.

Another anti-spam consequence: There are organizations who aim for greater traffic by representing themselves as if they offer services/product in every suburb when they do not(think real estate). These guys are resourced and they have lots of single pages on their website/websites all targeted to a particular community - lots of these targeted pages even to all the communities. These guys just got the rug pulled as they tended to target the organic side and not the maps - which means the best they will show is #8. It is a good thing. But then again a Google Map does not come up for every search and still tend to only show for places with relatively the most activity.

Comments on this? Other comments on the changes?
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Old 10-31-2010   #5
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

I get a floating map when I do local searches for me or if I add a new zip in the left side location - but not pulling a map from your search

Is definite push for local
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Old 10-31-2010   #6
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

On the left column, you have option to specify/change "your location." For me it only works for Australia - could not change to NY. Changing your location will change the result. Yet the new format will show if no location chosen.

Maybe not rolled out to your location yet.
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Old 11-01-2010   #7
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Been noticing these for few days, bit interesting in major locations and seems like fine-tuning is going on.
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Old 11-01-2010   #8
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Variations - it appears for the most popular searches the search takes a picture from Google Places, for less popular searches it just shows a placemark to the left and address below, and least popular searches it shows the standard 1-10 listing without maps.

The listings with map place markers appear to be favoured but not absolutely. I have seen some results where the first two listings are as per usual, then listings following have place markers. I have also seen them intermixed.

Once the Map listings placemarks show up on page one the number of listings on page one may be from 12 to 15, not the usual 10.

GAustralia.
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Old 11-02-2010   #9
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

What data sources have been definitely identified as feeding into Google Places? Originally, Places was driven mostly by Yellow Pages data. Now, there are far more sources. Some
are explicitly identified, and some are not.

I'm especially interested in finding the sources Google uses to tie businesses to web sites. Can anyone definitively show that Google is reading web site text to find addresses? That Google is using some major business data source like Hoovers or D&B? Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2010   #10
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Yeah when I noticed this I did actually go ooo....and I'm a Bing fan 100% so...truly impressed.

But yeah first place is now pretty good, Pic of my dad with his equipment (Why does that sound wrong?), reviews etc...defo makes it more click-able and is a good feature I think.
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Old 11-14-2010   #11
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

GA the really interesting listing I found is how they list hotels - using US meaning as in accomodation as opposed to Aussie one of a pub
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Old 11-15-2010   #12
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

I'm beginning to really dislike the local search changes. I'm trying to get my pages into various locations (EG 'make happy online faces in Wellington' and 'make happy online faces in Auckland' etc).
Now, I might be located outside Wellington but I can make the best happy onlines faces for Wellington businesses.
But with this focus on the companies who are located in Wellington showing up before mine, I'm missing out (and the searchers are missing out because they're not finding the best 'happy online faces' company.
(I hope I explained that right.. it's been a long day! Or am I missing something re the local search?)

Also, I really dont like the floating map. It kind of blocks some of the adword ads. Doesn't that mean there's less chance someone will see an ad?
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Old 11-15-2010   #13
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

you can optimize for non localized search terms as well
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Old 11-15-2010   #14
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Quote:
Originally Posted by actiononlinenz View Post
I'm beginning to really dislike the local search changes. ... Now, I might be located outside Wellington but I can make the best happy online faces for Wellington businesses. But with this focus on the companies who are located in Wellington showing up before mine, I'm missing out
That's the way search works now. Google is cutting off the air supply of "search engine optimization". With place search, product search, brand search, maps, and paid ads, organic results are far less important than they were a month ago.

From now on, either you pay Google for an ad in search results, or nobody notices you. Deal with it.
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Old 11-15-2010   #15
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Hello actionline -

I am getting the impression that when the search shows images from google places that if you are not in the 7 pack you are really missing out more than before. Perhaps because the format is new for surfers they get extra distracted or the fact that the images tend to immediately draw attention.

Sometimes even if a company has attended to their Google Places, and they had a top 7 ranking before the changes, the map placement does not automatically show - and it might do this for some keywords and not others - in searches that show the map. Any clues on forcing the two together even when the places listing is optimised for the keyword?

Aussie Webmaster - don't get me started with the Australian vs US version for definition of Hotel. It is just part of a history of unintended economic imperialism. As you know we sometimes fight here with software that likes to try to print "letter" instead of A4 and seems to revert/get stuck on American English spell checkers. Here is one, while Obama wants to encourage exports still quite a lot of sites in the US don't want to sell/ship to you unless you have an address in one of the 50 self centred US states or territories. Getting back to Google - the software does have the capacity to equate two words as the same which they can apply to different spellings of the same word as in US and English world outside the US spellings.

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Old 11-15-2010   #16
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

I like that one the economic imperialism of search
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Old 11-15-2010   #17
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

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Originally Posted by AussieWebmaster View Post
I like that one: the economic imperialism of search.
Yes. Many people in SEO haven't grasped the implications of the October 27th change yet. When organic search results lead to a site which displays ads and then directs the user to a useful site, Google has given up revenue to a third party. There's no reason for Google to allow that. Users don't want it, and Google doesn't want it. Now Google has the tools to move that revenue directly to Google.

I expect that thousands, maybe millions, of junk sites will go dark in the next year.
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Old 11-15-2010   #18
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

Quote:
I expect that thousands, maybe millions, of junk sites will go dark in the next year.
That would be nice, well we can live in hope.

I still get annoyed that when I search for business in Birmingham in the UK, I still get results from Birmingham USA, now that may be a bit out of thier catchment area TBH. But it still happens from time to time unfortunately.
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Old 11-16-2010   #19
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

I thought those junk sites made lots of money for Google. People would get tunnelled through pages of which they try to click their way out - that is more $ for Google as opposed to Google giving surfers directly what they want.

Getting back to the changes, it is definitely bad for junk sites and also "directories" that would try to monopolise the results. Without a Places listing they automatically lose ranking.

Google could have been more greedy. The implementation of the maps in the first place was diverting from Google PPC ads; now when Places images get put in the results this is more diverting.

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Old 11-16-2010   #20
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Re: NEW: combined Google Maps and Organic

there are ads on the Places pages... the moving maps do push the ads around but also draw attention to that side where the ads are
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