Archive for the ‘Local Search’ Category

Google Announces Google+ Local Verification Rollout

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Earlier today Googler Jade Wang announced on the Google and Your Business Group that Google has finally rolled out the verification process for local Google+ Pages.

By becoming a verified business owner of your Google+ Page, your business’ presence across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+ will be unified and you’ll be able to manage your information from the Google+ Page admin.  Verifying ownerships will combine the page you created in Google+ with the page in Google+ Local (formerly Google Places).

For now, only businesses in the “Local Business or Place” category can proceed with verification.  Rollout to other businesses will be available in the future.

To proceed with the verification you will need to click on “Verify Now” on the right side of the page.  Google will then send out a verification post card to your business to verify your information.  Once verified  your presence across Google+ and Google+ Local will be universal.


Google is doing a great job at answering questions from local businesses about the update and has a running FAQ that is being updated every couple of days.  If you have issues with your verification or have questions about particular challenges you are up against you can follow the Google and Your Business Group thread.  Additionally, if you need further instruction on how to verify your listing, local search expert Mike Blumenthal has put together a stellar step-by-step guide to the Google+ Business/Local verification process.

Bing Local Listings Center is now Bing Business Portal

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

One of the most intense battles being waged by the search engines is the battle for local dominance.  As more people look to local results and search via mobile device, locally relevant content is in high demand.  Google seemed to be leading the pack with it’s variety of local products such as Places, Latitude, and HotPot (now discontinued), but it appears that Bing has upped the ante with a beta launch of Bing Business Portal.

Though in Beta, the “Bing Business Portal” has replaced the “Bing Local Listings Center” in the U.S. and includes all of the features that were available in the original listings center, but with some added bonuses.

Enhanced Listings

Enhanced listings offer up some additional details about your business in an effort to make business listings more relevant and to drive more visitors to your business.  While many of the “enhanced” features already existed, some noteworthy changes are the addition of 6 additional categories and keywords and the ability to link to your Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Deals and Offers

Coupons and promotions are nothing new to the local search space, but Bing seems to have streamlined the process in a way that makes it easy for promotions to be shared and also makes the deals prominent in their search results without making businesses pay extra for it.

With Bing Business Portal businesses can create a discount coupon, promotion or rebate.  The system’s new Deal Editor allows businesses to select a specific offer category, a type (dollar amount, dollars off, percentage off, etc.), and add information describing the offer, such as photos and expiration date or a disclaimer.  Once done, businesses can then promote the offer in Bing’s search results, on their local business listing and on their Facebook Page.  If that weren’t enough, they will also appear in the deals tab in Bing’s mobile browser.

Overall these are some nice improvements to Bing’s local services.  The inclusion of services like Twitter and Facebook will be huge for local businesses participating in the social realm, and the fact you can publish Bing Business Portal deals on your Facebook page is just icing on the cake.  In the coming months our plastic surgery internet marketing clients will begin to reap the benefits of this service as we update and enhance their Bing listings to ensure they are getting the full benefits of this new service.

Google Places Search Integration: What Does It Mean?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

By now you’ve probably seen and heard of the recent changes to Google’s search engine results pages. Late last month Google began integrating Google Places data into localized search results and combined both the organic search algorithm and the Google Places algorithm to generate more useful localized listings. Many felt that this was the “death of SEO”, but our findings show the complete opposite. In fact to be successful we have found you need a balance of both on page search engine optimization and Google Places optimization.

How does this impact my SEO efforts?

The impact of the Google Places integration will vary by search space. Search queries delivering fully integrated Google Places results will require both strong localized on page SEO efforts as well as strong Google Places optimization. Search queries without Google Places integration seem to still rely heavily on traditional SEO efforts, but these markets should really start considering Google Places optimization moving forward in case their search results change.

How do I ensure that my Google Places listing is optimized?

Plastic Surgery Studios SEO clients are already ahead of the game. Our internet marketers began implementing Google Places optimization techniques long before this update was released and in most cases came out ranking the same or higher after the change.

For the rest of you, it’s important to make sure that you have claimed your Google Places listing and filled it out as completely as possible with your business information. Additionally it is important to keep your business information consistent anywhere that you list yourself online. Consistent business name, address, and phone number will help ensure that Google can identify your business information and potentially recognize it as a citation for your business, which is the local equivalent to a backlink.

The integration of Google Places shows Google’s dedication to local business information and local search. Even if you aren’t currently being impacted by the change, its safe to say you will in the future and the sooner you prepare yourself, the better off you’ll be in the long run. At the end of the day good internet marketing done in an ethical will help your site weather any storm that may be dished out by Google.