Google Places Update

Google Places Update
29 July 2011 | | Search Engine Optimisation

Our clients who use Dentist Finder to send out patient review requests may have noticed an update to their Google Places listing last week….Google is now not displaying any 3rd party reviews or citations, only direct reviews through Google itself. This change is most probably down to the recent criticism Google has been receiving from prominent review companies such as Yelp and Citysearch – who are complaining that Google was building a competing review platform on the backs of their businesses.

But don’t let that convince you that local SEO is dead or that online reviews from 3rd party sites such as Dentist Finder aren’t important! Have a look at the following article to see why:

Why Local SEO Doesn’t Change

1.) Citations may not be visible, but they surely still matter.

Don’t (ever!) forget the three pieces of the Google local rankings algorithmlocation, relevance, and prominence. Those are straight from Google, not something us consultants have made up.

Citations are still a primary way Google learns about a local business’ location. Citations also impact prominence: the more citations, the more prominent the business (in a very simplified way of looking at things).

2.) It’s like what Google has already done with links.

If we all agree that citations are the local version of links, and we do all agree on that, then think back a few years for some precedence: Google killed the LINK: search command so that people couldn’t see a page’s inbound links. But that didn’t mean that links were less important to ranking. Many would argue that links are more important to rankings today than ever. (In fact, there’s an excellent discussion on Sphinn about that exact topic this week.)

Likewise, I couldn’t imagine that citations/references are suddenly meaningless in the local algorithm. If they’re less important today — and that’s a debate we should have sometime — don’t blame the fact that they don’t appear on Place Pages now. Blame the introduction of “blended” local results that Google launched last October. Regular, on-page SEO became much more important with that change, quite possibly slightly minimizing the impact of citations at the same time.

3.) Local SEO is about more than citations.

No matter how important citations are, there’s a lot more involved in Google maps optimization and local SEO, in general. Consistent NAP data (name, address, phone), correct categorization in local business listings, solid on-page SEO — these are all extremely important today, and will be tomorrow, too.

Local SEO: Actually a Bit Harder Now

With citations now gone from Place Pages, it’ll be a bit harder to reverse engineer a competitor’s citations and web references. Now, you pretty much have to rely on tools to do this for you. I’d still recommend Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder — see my write-up of it from last summer for more details about how it works. I checked with Darren Shaw today and he says that Google’s Place Page changes have no impact on the tool’s ability to identify local citations.

Google’s decision to minimize third-party reviews also makes it a little harder to find all the sites where competitors might be getting exposure, but as with citations, this doesn’t mean reviews are any less important. It’s still smart to encourage your customers to say good things about you on whatever site they like to us — Twitter, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, Avvo … wherever!

Final Thoughts

Here are some other articles you should read regarding Google’s Place Page changes:

I don’t think you’ll find anything about “Local SEO is dead” in those articles. If you find anyone else saying that somewhere else, ignore them. Or give them the link to this article.

Read more: https://www.smallbusinesssem.com/local-seo-isnt-dead/4631/#ixzz1TTyCVyTC

 

More posts from our team


Previous Post:
Next Post:

Back to all news

Reviews2024
Five Star
Reviewed Marketing
5 gold stars
google review logofacebook review with 5 stars
"Excellent service from James at Dental Design, thank you very much for your prompt attention whenever I get in touch! Would definitely recommend to a friend" Alison Tarmey View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Would definitely recommend to a friend"
5 gold stars
"As a dental practice manager I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough. They are just brilliant at what they do. Lucy and her colleagues are just an email or a phone call away...." Emma Smith View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough"
5 gold stars
"Really great company to deal with. They always respond quickly and are truly reliable. I would 100% recommend, the staff are so friendly and helpful." Michelle Molloy View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Really great company to deal with"
5 gold stars
"I got increased traffic and new patients applying to my surgery, once Dental Design upgraded my website. They are very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations..." Joanna Gallop View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations"
5 gold stars
"Lucy has been a star, responding to and acting upon our requests in a prompt, efficient and professional manner, as well as the rest of the Dental Design team..." Abhay Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend them highly enough"
5 gold stars
"...Since the website has been up and running Lucy Mander has been our point of contact. She has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us, especially during COVID-19 lockdown... " Lucy Jones View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us"
5 gold stars
"Thank you for all your help and support, and the provision of valuable learning aids for our patients and staff alike in these difficult times. We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!" Sandra Luck View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism and can-do attitude. All of their staff are exceptionally competent and knowledgeable..." Harvey Rook View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism"
5 gold stars
"Having done extensive research into all the dental website companies, the team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled..." Neil Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "The team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled"
5 gold stars
"The team at dental design (especially Rosie) are absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help. They are professional, friendly and extremely efficient. Rosie always gets back..." KiKi Wilmot View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design are fantastic to work with, our website is amazing and the support they provide is second to none. Our account manager Rosie L is a fabulous point..." Luke Lucas View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design are fantastic to work with"
5 gold stars
"Having worked with the Dental Design team for the last six months, I've found them not only helpful, but friendly and approachable too. I bombard Marcus with regular..." Sophie Harper View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "always met with a swift and professional response"
5 gold stars
desk with branded documents