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Thread: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Exclamation 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    4 important changes with the new Google Maps
    that will significantly impact Local Search


    Name:  MapsIO.jpg
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    #1 No left column of the top ranked listings. It's all one big map with a floating search bar. Instead of a local results column, you now see highlights and names of Places right on the map itself. There is no 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C ranking.

    #2 No link to Google+ Local Page. If you click a listing on the map an Info Card pops up. It shows details and reviews and link to web site. But there is no link to the G+ Local page. The only way to get there is by clicking on reviews. (Previously there was a more info link on the info bubble.)

    I finally got my Maps invite last night, so here's a good screen shot that illustrates several of my points.

    New Info Window that features business data on the map

    4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search-mapsnewbest.jpg

    So above you see the listings for several Dentists. No ranking order on the map. The one I selected shows in the new "Info Card". As I mentioned, no direct link to the G+ Local page except via the reviews link.


    #3 Ranking results are VERY different than Google search ranking order.

    When you do a KW search, as I explained, there is no ranking order on the map. Although only the listings Google thinks are most important will show with a label. The rest are unlabeled dots.

    So the only way to see a ranking order is to select Places from 1) Top Reviewers 2) Your circles
    or 3) Go to list of top results. See below...

    Name:  MapsNewBevHillsDentist.jpg
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    HOWEVER here's the biggie. When you click that link to view top results, the ranking order is VERY different than the ranking order on the 1st page of Google search. So the algo is either different OR things just aren't jiving in Maps BETA.

    But here is an even big issue! You know how the Places search is gone now and the "more results near" link is gone now? So you can't get beyond page 1 of the results in Google search. Places search is what the rank tracking programs used to calculate rank. So if someone was on page 2 they may have ranked #23.

    Well when that went away, the tracking programs (I believe both Bright and Scout) switched to using the ranking order on the left column of maps, because that's all that was left.

    Now that left column is gone. SOOOO the only place to see ranking order is "top results". But again that ranking order is TOTALLY different than page 1 search.


    #4 Everyone's map will be different. This will possibly be the biggest issue of all.

    You can't tell a client they rank #3 because a consumer's map will be personalized for them. And your client may see something totally different than what you see. Here is quote from a post I did over the weekend.

    The map is not a static map. Your map will not look like my map.

    And the map for "Dallas Dentist" I look at when trying to see how my client ranks could be totally different than what my client sees. And what that potential new patient sees doing a 1st time search could be different than his results or mine.

    This new map is built at search time, based on not only traditional ranking factors (like popularity, proximity and # of reviews) but also personal preferences, past browsing history and who knows what else will be thrown into the mix.

    So tracking results and talking ranking with clients is going to get very interesting.

    The new Google Maps also learns from you, changes & grows with you!

    So if your Dentist client clicks on 3 of his competitors quite often, to check out what they are doing...
    I think his competitors MAY appear more prominent to him than they really are (or would be to a patient, doing a 1st time search).

    Here is a Google Hangout Ryan AKA Optimize Prime did about the new Google Maps yesterday where I was able to ask some questions and have him show some examples that bring the points above to light. You'll discover lots of changes in this video that will impact Local Search.



    Here is a great post Matt McGee just penned Sunday:
    A Tour of the New Google Maps -15 Screenshots

    Here are some great observations from Chris Silver Smith at Search Engine Land yesterday:
    New Google Maps UI Calls For Shifts In SEO Tactics

    Below are 2 posts from here at the forum over the weekend with lots of great discussion about the changes and how they could affect our world.

    Video Walkthrough of New Google Maps - Impact on Local SEO

    New Google Maps - The Pros Discuss Ramifications for Local SEO

    And last but not least, due to all the Google Maps discussions I know will be coming, I launched a new Maps forum on Friday. Add any new topics about Maps here.

    Now that I have my Maps Preview, I'll be testing as I have time. I'm sure I'll be sharing more posts about all these changes and I hope to do some ranking analysis to try to determine how the aglo has changed in the new top results order.

    WHEW! Questions or comments???
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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    Forgot to mention, I can take screenshot requests for those that don't have access to the new maps yet.

    If you want to see how a Maps Search looks for a specific query:

    1) Give me city + keyword ie: Dallas Dentist

    2) Give me a link to the old Google maps search for that query, so I can try to replicate the zoom level you want for comparison.
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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    Excellent content and really helpful • thanks!

    1) city = los angeles kw = a) social seo b) video seo c)
    2) old link

    https://maps.google.com/maps?newwind...en&sa=N&tab=wl

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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    Does a Google search for "Seattle chiropractor" automatically go to maps, or will you still see SERP results when the new maps launches fully? Not sure if I missed something here.
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    This seems to all be slanted towards mobile users. On a desktop its virtually worthless if you ask me.

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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    So glad I took a leaf out of Linda's book and didn't hang my hat on doing G+ Local as my main service offering. Selling Lead Gen is looking more and more attractive each day.

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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search-glance.jpg

    I think the "at a glance" is much more prominent now. I want to figure out where they get it from. I have a few clients with the most random words. I would love to figure out some strategy there.

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    Quote Originally Posted by JNFerree View Post
    Excellent content and really helpful • thanks!

    1) city = los angeles kw = a) social seo b) video seo c)
    Sorry got backed up. New announcement about the new dashboard. Changes hitting faster than I can keep up with. May not be able to circle back on this request til tonight.

    Quote Originally Posted by EsR View Post
    Does a Google search for "Seattle chiropractor" automatically go to maps, or will you still see SERP results when the new maps launches fully? Not sure if I missed something here.
    No the search still (as far as we know) will go to the regular results. HOWEVER since there is no Places search or more link, if someone wants to see more results, they have to click maps, and once rolled out will get the new maps. AND if they view all results they get the list in a different order than in Google search.

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    This seems to all be slanted towards mobile users. On a desktop its virtually worthless if you ask me.
    Hi Russ, yes it's pretty mobile centric.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon James View Post
    So glad I took a leaf out of Linda's book and didn't hang my hat on doing G+ Local as my main service offering. Selling Lead Gen is looking more and more attractive each day.
    Yep it's pretty crazy and hard to keep up with all the changes, but those that do will still be able to deliver great value to clients, while half of the SEOs that "say" they do local, will remain lost and confused!
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    I have submitted feedback to Google about the link to Google+ pages being hidden in the reviews. Requesting addition of +1 button or share feature. It might help if others did the same.
    Independent Digital Marketing Specialist
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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: 4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    I think the "at a glance" is much more prominent now. I want to figure out where they get it from. I have a few clients with the most random words. I would love to figure out some strategy there.
    It's also VERY prominent in the "list of top results" which I wanted to show, but that post was already so long. Here is "top results" for Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist, when I click over from that top map I showed.

    4 Critical Google Maps Changes that will Impact Local Search-mapsnewbevcoslist.jpg

    Compare regular Google search for "Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist" and you'll see the ranking order of the results is quite different than what you see above.
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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