What is a Google Places Page?

First it was the Google Local Business Center, then Google Local and finally Google Places. When using Google for a local search, you will notice the business listings that appear with a location marker next to a local map. These listings are displayed and powered by Google Places and Google Maps. Google allows business owners or representatives to claim and enhance their Google Places business pages and listings for free. Google Places Pages for business feature relevant accurate business information like business name business, location and contact information, links to company website, business categories, description of business, photos and video, business hours, payment information, and business reviews.

How To Claim Or Add Your Business To Google Places?

There are a number of ways to add or claim an existing listing on Google Places. I have found that the easiest way to see if your business is already on Google Places is to use the phone number look up feature. Type in your business phone number and if your business has an unclaimed listing, you will be prompted to claim and edit your listing details by signing into your Google account. If Google does not recognize your phone number, you will be prompted to sign in and add a new listing. You can also claim your existing listing by searching for your business in your city or zip and clicking on the more info or listing details page. On this page, you will either see a link above the map that says, “Business Owner?” or “Owner-Verified Listing” . Click on the link that says “Business Owner?” to begin the claiming process. After you have given Google all your business information, website, hours, categories etc… you will be prompted to verify your listing.

How To Verifying Your Listing On Google Places

Verifying your listing can be done one of two ways.

1. Post Card Verification. I have found that for newly added listings or listings that the phone or address is being edited, Google prefers to send business owners a post card with a PIN # to the business address. When you get this post card in the mail, you can log back into your google Places account and type the PIN # where prompted next to you business information.

2. Phone Verification. For newly claimed listings, google may choose to verify via phone call. For phone verification, you will be prompted to initiate a phone call to your main business line. Make sure you are at the physical location of the phone or that you are forwarding calls so that you do not miss this call. A voice recording will give you a PIN # that you can type in next to your business information.

It way take 1-2 days before your newly verified business information appears on Google Places. Please note that just because you have added or claimed and verified your business information on Google Places, does not mean that your business will immediately appear in Google Places search results. There are many factors that determine ranking in Google Places search results such as relevance, prominence and distance.

What Determines Ranking of Google Places Business Listings?

Google Places search results or search results on Google Maps search are primarily based on relevance, distance, and prominence. These combined factors help Google find the best match for a users search. For example, a Google search may rank a business on Google Places results that’s farther away from a users local search location because is more likely to have what the user is looking for than a business that may be geographically closer. Here’s more detail on what relevance, distance, and prominence mean

Relevance: Search results in Google , wether natural search results or Google Places search results are determined by relevance. Relevance, as it pertains to a Google Places business listing is how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. A complete, detailed and owner-verified business listing on Google Places can help Google better understand your business and match Google users and searchers to relevant search results. A few things that may determine how relevant your Google Places listing are distance, accurate business information like business name business, location and contact information, a link to your company website, business categories, description of business, photos and video, business hours, payment information, and business reviews. Google Places also uses 3rd party courtesy listings on other popular websites to fact check your business information. Google wants to see consistent information about your business across the web. These courtesy listings are sometimes known as Citations and will help your web prominence which is described below.

Prominence: Google bases your web prominence on information that it has found about your business on the web like links, mentions, articles, blog post or web directories. These links, articles, mentions and directory listings, especially on local sites like Frederick.com help determine relevance, prominence and therefor rank in Google Places or Google Map search results.

Distance: Distance alone does not determine rank or relevance on Google Places search results.  It is a factor but Google uses more than just distance to determine listing rank on Google Places results.  If a user does not specify a geographic location or zip code in a search, Google will use what it knows about your location based on IP address, ISP or Google search settings to calculate the distance from local businesses to your location. If your business listing does not appear in Google Places search results but a competitors does even though your business is geographically closer to the location searched, your business probably has relevance or prominence issues.

Google Places On Mobile Devices

More and more Google users are searching Google for local businesses from mobile phones and tablets. Google reports that mobile search volume is up 130% year-over-year. People have access to the Internet anytime, anywhere. They’re using their phones to get the information they need when they need it. Many mobile searches result in action being taken from the user such as a click through to website, directions to business, or a phone call. I personally use this feature all the time from my IPhone. It is very convenient to voice search and click to call a local business or click on directions. Establishing presence on Google Places should be a key part of your mobile marketing.

How Can Frederick Advertising Help With Google Places?

Frederick Advertising has helped 100s of local business be found on Google Places by finding, claiming and optimizing their business listings. If you need help with Google Places, please contact us

Here are a few Owner-verified listings that we have helped with.

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