Does Google Maps Help SEO?
So, using Google Maps will help with SEO, but only for very specific pages. If you embed Google Maps on to your “contact” or “about us” pages, then you will receive an SEO boost. However, if you start shoving it onto every page, then you are wasting your time. Google is smart enough to know which one is your contact page, and will only give you results from it being on that page.
This wasn’t always the case. Up until the middle of 2018 you could develop Landing Pages with your Google Maps entry embedded on the page to give your site more reliability. However, Google has made it very clear that they do not want this to be happening anymore. This is due to a long stretch of websites abusing this trick for an SEO advantage. And in June 2018, Google put a final end to it.
Now, you should learn why this once useful SEO trick is not frowned upon unless you follow Google’s very specific guidelines. So, why was it hit with such harsh restrictions? Simply put, it was an overly abused method of boosting SEO. SEO-savvy websites were starting to develop thousands of these landing pages on their websites using the Google Maps API in the past few years. Some companies don’t even limit their city pages to just the United States. The top players who use this method also have pages for cities and countries all over the world. It is a way to give website a higher ranking for your GEOlocated landing page.
How Does This Affect Your Business’ Local Search Results?
First of all, you will start to notice a change in the amount of Local Business Results Listing. Usually, Google provides top seven to ten local businesses based on a search query. However, with the Pigeon update, only three to four businesses will now appear. Also, you will begin seeing more local directory sites moving up in Google’s organic search results page. Sites such as TripAdvisor, OpenTable, and Yelp. Many sites will find that they’ve lost their organic page one results to local directory sites such as these.
Tactics For Better Rankings In Google Local
To be very clear, getting your business and their websites into more listings consistently, is a very good thing. However, this has gone unmentioned in many local optimization recommendations. It’s either that or it is too obvious and people don’t feel the need to mention it. Whichever it may be, there are a few steps which you should be considering with your local SEO strategy.
- Do Lots OF Searches Related To Your Business And Region – You’re seeking results which show competing or closely related businesses.
- Identify Dozens Of Businesses That Consistently Have Top Rankings – You should consider building a spreadsheet to track these identities.
- Go To The Local Business Profile For Them – Follow the links to the reviews about each of your competitors’ businesses. You will find the page Google has created with information about the business an =d their reviews.
Reviews And Ratings
Google has made it very clear that “content is king”. However, in the world of Google local SEO, it is clear that reviews are king. When clicked on, they typically search results display red star ratings, which are also available on Google+ pages, search results and on the map itself. The most important advice we have heard is to focus on acquiring reviews. It is a major factor that the user will have to rely on. Think of it, would you contact a company with 1 star or 5?
Google has also made it clear that the need for a Google+ page is extremely relevant to online marketing now more than ever. The more you use Google Maps, the more accurate it will be as an acting guide for your search results based on your company’s previous ratings and reviews. All of which are collected through Google+. This is a very useful tool.
Google’s Local Search Engine Algorithm
Quite different from the earlier Panda and Penguin updates, the new algorithm focuses more on Pigeon. As a result of the update, the algorithm aims to present its searchers with higher quality and more relevant local search results. It is extremely important to understand how it could impact your business’ search results. Also, what roles you must play in order to keep it maintained as well as constantly improving your local search listings to meet the qualifications of the new update.
Put in simple terms, the new Pigeon algorithm update returns the user experience to the basics in terms of the ranking local search results. So, for Google we search results and for Google Map search results, Google has now placed more emphasis on the traditional signals. Signals such as keywords, page quality, and domain authority. These signals are the determining factors when presenting the top local results for searchers.