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  1. #1
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    The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Excuse me if this has been covered but it popped up in my personal perspective in an unlikely way.

    I was looking at a local website. Its about 2 months old. It might have had the worst effort at any type of SEO I've seen.

    Its a one page website for a restaurant. Its attractive and they had to put some money into this, certainly on the photography side with attractive shots of the restaurant plus they prepared, plated and photographed many of their dishes. A lot of pictures. Incredibly weak on content.

    The title has the name screwed up. Instead of a header with the name of the restaurant there is an image with the name on it. Bots/spiders can't read that name inside an image.

    There is a contact section on the page. It names the restaurant differently than the formal name.

    This website wasn't showing for any kind of name search. Not by name, not by name and town, not by name and neighborhood. (there are a reasonable amount of searches in this area for restaurants and other smbs with town or neighborhood).

    Needless to say the google plus record hadn't been claimed. But there is a google plus page. A person/ active mapmaker has been entering local/regional restaurants in map maker for months. The person has over 300 edits to his/her name.

    But the mapmaker entry didn't include the url. I added it as an edit.

    Within a couple of hours of the edit being accepted the url started showing for some very limited very specific name searches. The url shows with the google plus entry. It has a google plus local info box.

    It shows for a search by just name within the local community and at least one nearby town. It shows for a search with name and town name. It shows for a search with business name and town name. The url is not showing for a search with name and neighborhood.

    I was simply startled to see how incredibly fast and effective the url in mapmaker served to change the serps. Especially in light of the fact that this business/restaurant has failed from an optimization basis on every other level.

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  3. #2
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    btw: because these folks have done next to nothing on this site if one searches for restaurants by town, county, neighborhood (all of which are pretty common and reasonably voluminous) it simply doesn't show. No danged visibility. Nothing. Nada. Squat. These guys need work on the page and lots of citations.

    Before they opened they got a reasonable volume of press and citation like info. Not uncommon in this region where there is a lot of news about restaurants.

    But these guys get none of that traffic. Too bad.

    Still, I was impressed and startled at how fast and reasonably effective just getting a url into map maker worked to vault this site to 1st for some name searches.

    That alone is impressive, imho.

  4. #3
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Interesting points Dave. Thanks for sharing.

    Organic still rules the pack ranking order for most SERPs I check. But now there are so many other different signals too (like our test we're doing about click through and stick rates affecting ranking) that it seems like it would be even harder for a new business with a brand new website to rank.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

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

  5. #4
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Linda:

    I wasn't sure if this topic had been discussed before. The example stunned me. I think in most cases if one does a name search for an smb it turns up high and/or usually first.

    But this smb totally struck out. Totally. Nothing. So I zipped through the source code.

    It seemed like E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G was wrong. basically not a single signal to google about what the name of the smb is.

    Now seriously, again...how could a web designer mess this up so badly?

    But aside from that, when going into mapmaker for the site, it was interesting. An active mapper/volunteer has entered a lot of new restaurants in this region, including this smb.

    But the url wasn't there. I did the edit...and bam...for some limited types of phrases; name when you are searching from that town or at least one nearby town, and name plus town, the url shot to the top of serps.

    I simply found that impressive and powerful, and a lesson.

    There is a lot of power in mapmaker in certain very focused ways...and a seemingly open express door to the organic serps algo. I imagine if the smb had claimed a local g + page and had added the url the effect would have been similar.

    Very interesting.

  6. #5
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    I wonder if it maybe wasn't just adding the URL that did it, since the site is not even optimized.

    I wonder if the edit was just like a MapMaker 'poke' and showed the listing was alive?

    No idea, just speculating!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

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

  7. #6
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    I wonder if it maybe wasn't just adding the URL that did it, since the site is not even optimized.

    I wonder if the edit was just like a MapMaker 'poke' and showed the listing was alive?

    No idea, just speculating!

    I gotta think it was the edit, and the part that was vital was that it was the url. Nothing else mattered.

    Mapmaker, and the local g plus page already had name, address phone number. I suspect the url made all the difference.

    The unusual thing was that the site was soooooo bad on page, and as a result one would search by name, and the url was buried....maybe in the 30's or lower.

    Just a weird example.

  8. #7
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Its a one page website for a restaurant. Its attractive and they had to put some money into this, certainly on the photography side with attractive shots of the restaurant plus they prepared, plated and photographed many of their dishes. A lot of pictures. Incredibly weak on content.

    The title has the name screwed up. Instead of a header with the name of the restaurant there is an image with the name on it. Bots/spiders can't read that name inside an image.
    Sounds like a wedding photographer's site.

  9. #8
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    @Phil:

    Nah:

    here is the name: Republic Kitchen and Bar
    location: 801 Quincy Street, Arlington, VA
    Neighborhood(s) either Ballston or Virginia Square.
    url republic-arlington dot com

    These are very dense suburban residential neighborhoods with a lot of restaurants.

    Quite a few things stunned me:

    1. The on page seo just stunk!!!!! no favor by the web designer
    2. Because of that it had no name visibility. None. Squat. Nothing. Nada
    3. A google plus profile was up. I looked the thing up in mapmaker. There is an active google mapper creating restaurant updates in the region. Kudo's to her/him--to google and for users/searchers.

    The g + profile and the local information box gave the smb some visibility

    4. When I visited the site via map maker I noticed the url was missing. Added it. I did a search 3 hrs following the edit approval.

    Bingo Bam/Smash/Kapow---> There was name visibility for the url, albeit on a tight name basis.

    That was impressive.

    So I'm thinking outloud on this one:

    The google maps index is very powerful vis a vis organic visibility let alone creating the google plus record, a local info box, etc.

    Whether you claim or add the google plus record, or do it via mapmaker it feeds into the google maps index. It could feed into the index via a plethora of citations and "trustworthy" web documents. It could do it via claiming the record. It could do it if you do a reasonably accurate job on the web site, (unlike this web designer).

    It was simply noteworthy how fast mapmaker fed into the maps and then the organic indices (from my perspective and my guesswork).

    It's danged impressive and effective, coming from my historical perspective on all this stuff.

    Now if you are searching for restaurants in this town/county or either of those neighborhoods this restaurant doesn't show. Its weak via category/type etc.

    (what do you expect after scanning the on page source code?)

    but the maps index---gets the website url up correctly....even when the web designer messed up.

    Now I'll go long winded and add some history from my perspective with a very illustrative link to a google patent, described by Bill Slawski that really affected smb visibility.

    Back in summer 2005 Bill did one of his first analyses of a google patent here: Assigning Geographic Locations to Web Pages - Google, Bing, Search Engines - Cre8asiteforums

    This thing had gone into effect at the end of February that year. It was a profound improvement on google's logic and ability to show appropriate responses for local type searches:

    Prior to that change if you were searching for:

    A dentist in Denver
    A Pediatrician in Pittsburgh
    A Lawyer in Louisville, or roughly any kind of local service in any city in the country or the world none of these business websites would show at the top of serps for a simple search for that service in that city or town.

    (remember--there wasn't a google maps index then, no PACs no google pluses etc. There were organic results. That was it)

    No matter what you searched for you virtually always had the same results:

    They always looked something like: Amazon or EBay at the top with some humongous mega directories in the next couple of serps and then after all those mega pages you might get some local dentists, doctors, electricians, etc.

    Google's algo for local search stunk. I knew it. I was working on that stuff then.

    The patent changed all that. The key, if you read Bill's analysis a bit is further down the first page. It has to do with connecting the link from the "Contact Page" to the home page within two to five internal links. What that did was filter the mega sites from sites with local intent. It pushed the mega sites out of the serps and highlighted the local sites.

    It was an effective and elegant change. It left google's basic algo's in place, but eliminated the garbage as far as local searches were involved.

    So...fast forward to today...and I noted this impact from adding url into the Maps index. In the case I noted, it was via mapmaker.

    the maps index works its way into google search and shows for a google.com search.

    It works like a charm. I thought it was pretty cool. In this case it undid the muck caused by the web designer.

  10. #9
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    @Dave

    I was just saying that photographers' sites tend to suck

  11. #10
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    Re: The URL in a claimed listing or even in Google MapMaker. It works

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Rozek View Post
    @Dave

    I was just saying that photographers' sites tend to suck
    yeah. could be. I zipped thru the source code on the one referenced above.

    Everything was wrong.

    How can an smb operator not pick up on the fact that the site doesn't work at all??? How??? Friggin amazing. After I noticed this I brought it up in a local discussion group and somebody contacted them on FB. The smb operator said. I'll talk to my "web guy".

    ...so the smb guy hired a clueless designer and the smb guy is clueless. The whole thing blows my mind.

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