Solving Problems & Seeing Success in Google Places: The Basics

Nyagoslav Zhekov
Nyagoslav ZhekovDirector of Local Search at Whitespark
Presented by:
Nyagoslav Zhekov, OptiLocal
How a “Place” is Created
                                             
 “Listing” vs. “Cluster”

“Each local business listing on Google is in fact a giant
'cluster’ of information that we get from a few different
places: Yellow Pages, for example, as well as other
third-party providers.”
(Source: Google Places Help articles)


 Data Sources:

     Local Business Center (Google Places for Business)
     Yellow pages and feed data providers
     Scraped content from other websites
     User Generated Content                           Source: Joel Headley, Google Maps team, June 2009
Google Decisions: Merging Data vs. Creating a New
    Cluster and Which Data to Display Publicly

                                                     
 Threshold for merging vs. creating a new cluster:
    Low threshold => merging data for different businesses
    High threshold => creating duplicates for the same business

 The main determining factor - N.A.P.

 Which data will be displayed:
    Trustworthiness of the source
    Recency of the data
    Completeness of the data
    Number of sources displaying the same data
(Source: Egon Pasztor & Daniel Egnor, “Generating Structured Information” patent, 2006)
Data Sources for Google Places

                                                               
   (In order of their importance)
   1.     Owner-verified business data via Google Places
   2.     Data via business directories:
   a)     Yelp*
   b)     Super Pages
   c)     City Search
   d)     Yellow Pages
   e)     Info Group
   f)     Yahoo Local
   g)     Insider Pages
   h)     Niche Industry websites
   i)     Others
   (Source: David Mihm, Local Search Ranking Factors, 2011)
   3. Approved UGC
   4. Scraped data
Source: Interview with Eric Stein, Search Engine Land, October 2008   Source: Getlisted.org, 2009-2012
Preventing Problems
                  
 Check your N.A.P. consistency
   Local Citation Finder (Whitespark)
   Local Search Scorecard (Yext)
   Getlisted.org (David Mihm, Inc.)
   Local SEO Check-up (Bright Local)




      Screenshot: Local Search Scorecard by Yext


   Be careful which account you use when claiming/creating the listing
   Check the email associated with this account frequently
   Update your listing frequently
   Follow the Google Places Quality Guidelines
When the Problem Occurs
                                     
 When do problems occur?
 Reporting a problem via the “Report a problem” GP frontend
  tool
   What is the “Report a problem”
   Action time
   Response rate
   Efficiency
   Reporting duplicates
   No option to report mergers
When the Problem
           Occurs (Cont.)
                 
 Editing the information via Map Maker
   What is Google Map Maker
    o   Basics
    o   Availability

   Editing a place

   Deleting a duplicate
    o   What is a duplicate
    o   What is not a duplicate

   Approval process
    o   Trust system
    o   Google Reviewers
When the Problem
              Occurs (Cont.)
                    
 Using the troubleshooter

   What is the troubleshooter

   How the troubleshooter works
    o   What you can report
    o   What you cannot report


   Why it is the best option
    o   Response rate
    o   Comparison with “Report a problem”
If Nothing Works? Give Up?
            
Not Yet!
  
Google Places Help Forum
           
 Posting on the Google Places Help Forum
    (www.google.com/support/forum/p/Places)


   Posting recommendations

   Top Contributors

   Google Employees
Useful Resources
                    
1.   Google Places help articles (http://support.google.com/places)
2.   Google Map Maker help articles (http://support.google.com/mapmaker)
3.   Understanding Google Places & Local Search Blog
     (http://blumenthals.com/blog)
4.   Google Lat-Long Blog (http://google-latlong.blogspot.com)
5.   Local Search Ranking Factors, by David Mihm
     (http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml)
6.   Google Places Troubleshooting: Best Practice for Dealing with a Merged
     Listing, by Mike Blumenthal
     (http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/01/19/google-places-troubleshooting-
     best-practice-for-dealing-with-a-merged-listing)
7.   How to Deal with Duplicate Listings on Google Places, by Nyagoslav Zhekov
     (http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/fix-duplicate-listings-google-
     places.html)
8.   Google's Local Search Patent Application, by Bill Slawski
     (http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/09/googles-local-search-patent)
THANK YOU!
    
1 of 13

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Solving Problems & Seeing Success in Google Places: The Basics

  • 2. How a “Place” is Created   “Listing” vs. “Cluster” “Each local business listing on Google is in fact a giant 'cluster’ of information that we get from a few different places: Yellow Pages, for example, as well as other third-party providers.” (Source: Google Places Help articles)  Data Sources:  Local Business Center (Google Places for Business)  Yellow pages and feed data providers  Scraped content from other websites  User Generated Content Source: Joel Headley, Google Maps team, June 2009
  • 3. Google Decisions: Merging Data vs. Creating a New Cluster and Which Data to Display Publicly   Threshold for merging vs. creating a new cluster:  Low threshold => merging data for different businesses  High threshold => creating duplicates for the same business  The main determining factor - N.A.P.  Which data will be displayed:  Trustworthiness of the source  Recency of the data  Completeness of the data  Number of sources displaying the same data (Source: Egon Pasztor & Daniel Egnor, “Generating Structured Information” patent, 2006)
  • 4. Data Sources for Google Places  (In order of their importance) 1. Owner-verified business data via Google Places 2. Data via business directories: a) Yelp* b) Super Pages c) City Search d) Yellow Pages e) Info Group f) Yahoo Local g) Insider Pages h) Niche Industry websites i) Others (Source: David Mihm, Local Search Ranking Factors, 2011) 3. Approved UGC 4. Scraped data Source: Interview with Eric Stein, Search Engine Land, October 2008 Source: Getlisted.org, 2009-2012
  • 5. Preventing Problems   Check your N.A.P. consistency  Local Citation Finder (Whitespark)  Local Search Scorecard (Yext)  Getlisted.org (David Mihm, Inc.)  Local SEO Check-up (Bright Local) Screenshot: Local Search Scorecard by Yext  Be careful which account you use when claiming/creating the listing  Check the email associated with this account frequently  Update your listing frequently  Follow the Google Places Quality Guidelines
  • 6. When the Problem Occurs   When do problems occur?  Reporting a problem via the “Report a problem” GP frontend tool  What is the “Report a problem”  Action time  Response rate  Efficiency  Reporting duplicates  No option to report mergers
  • 7. When the Problem Occurs (Cont.)   Editing the information via Map Maker  What is Google Map Maker o Basics o Availability  Editing a place  Deleting a duplicate o What is a duplicate o What is not a duplicate  Approval process o Trust system o Google Reviewers
  • 8. When the Problem Occurs (Cont.)   Using the troubleshooter  What is the troubleshooter  How the troubleshooter works o What you can report o What you cannot report  Why it is the best option o Response rate o Comparison with “Report a problem”
  • 9. If Nothing Works? Give Up? 
  • 10. Not Yet!
  • 11. Google Places Help Forum   Posting on the Google Places Help Forum (www.google.com/support/forum/p/Places)  Posting recommendations  Top Contributors  Google Employees
  • 12. Useful Resources  1. Google Places help articles (http://support.google.com/places) 2. Google Map Maker help articles (http://support.google.com/mapmaker) 3. Understanding Google Places & Local Search Blog (http://blumenthals.com/blog) 4. Google Lat-Long Blog (http://google-latlong.blogspot.com) 5. Local Search Ranking Factors, by David Mihm (http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml) 6. Google Places Troubleshooting: Best Practice for Dealing with a Merged Listing, by Mike Blumenthal (http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/01/19/google-places-troubleshooting- best-practice-for-dealing-with-a-merged-listing) 7. How to Deal with Duplicate Listings on Google Places, by Nyagoslav Zhekov (http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/fix-duplicate-listings-google- places.html) 8. Google's Local Search Patent Application, by Bill Slawski (http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/09/googles-local-search-patent)
  • 13. THANK YOU!