There are no real secrets to Google Places. When you have a great location on Google Places business directory, the phone rings. When the phone suddenly stops, you might immediately go check to see the status of your listings on Google Places. You may be shocked at what you find.
SMB’s (Small Businesses) today are at the mercy of the Google Places local business directory. While many local companies are unaware of the potential increases that they might find in phone calls, sales, and profits from gaining a great rank on the 7-pack of the Google Places Map, more astute owners are working hard to get those rankings and then hold on to them.
However, while Google Places can be a big traffic generator, it is a fickle friend of local business. Mysteriously, or so it seems, your listing may drop in rank, drop off of the 7-pack, drop out of site completely, or be reviewed, suspended, or have the analytics stop showing, and the words “location not supported” may appear.
Google would undoubtedly be the first to admit that sometimes, maybe even often times, these problems are due to hiccups in their systems. Clearly there are times when Google is introducing something new like tags or Google Instant where listings are thrown into a tizzy for a day or two, just to come back to normal later. And, Google is constantly changing their methods of dealing with various things, and they don’t always tell the rest of us what they are up to.
On the other hand, there are some very serious KNOWN reasons why your listing may be in trouble or merely sinking in the rankings. Here are the big ones:
- Spammy information in your listing. This can be the name, address, phone number, description, and possibly the details. It can also be that your first business category is not one that Google Places has on the drop down menu when you set up the listing. See the Google Guidelines to determine if what you are doing is outside of their terms.
- The location marker is incorrect. Maybe you moved it to make it closer to the center of town. Maybe you didn’t move it, but Google has decided it isn’t correct. Make sure the marker is in the right place.
- Your description contains words that repeat what is in your basic information, such as city or address.
- You don’t have any or enough reviews. If your competition is getting new reviews and you are not, you will drop in rank. See ShoutDog for about getting positive reviews for your business.
- Google is not able to find any or very much information about you elsewhere on the web. This is called citations. Google wants your information on the listing to be the same as it is on Yelp or Yahoo and especially on your website, or other websites that talk about you. If your competition has more great citations, you may drop in rank.
- More on citations. If your name is spammy and filled with keywords or city information, and your website and other places on the web only show the basic name without the spam, you may drop way down or even be suspended.
- Google is now calling businesses to make sure that they really exist. If they call your company number and get bad information, we can only guess at the consequences.
- Multiple listings for the same address or phone number are well documented as a way to lose rank or get suspended or even sand boxed.
If you are having difficulties and can’t figure out why you are not at the top of Google Places, give us a call at 800-708-1748 or 310-987-2908.
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