Brand vs Local Pages - 2014

anim8tr

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
8
The "Brand vs Local Pages" question has been asked before, but I can only find it mentioned back in 2012. I'm wondering about these solutions in 2014.

I have a local page for my online art business that is doing fairly well for my targeted searches. Much of my artwork involves local landmarks, etc. and so I want to be able to capture local search traffic. I also create artwork for local businesses.

I noticed in the recent Google guidelines that artists (as well as brands, organizations, and other groups or individuals) should use a branded page rather than a local page.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with Branded Pages? I'm specifically wondering what section of the SERP they show up on? Secondly, I'm wondering how well they rank given a well optimized approach. Finally, am I risking removal from Local Search if I continue to use Local Pages for my service area business?

Thanks!
 

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
494
There are a couple of things to consider.

Firstly there's the compliance with TOS. Always a shifting sand, but you need to be compliant with what is current now.

Secondly, if you're an online business you shouldn't have ever had a local page. But you also say you do art for local businesses, presumably at their premises, so you may have fit into the SAB model in the past.

In answer to your specific question about where do branded pages show - if you mean a Google Plus brand page, then they show up in organic. There is no specific bias I'm aware of with G+ posts, so quality content that is relevant to the search should perform like any other piece of content.
Local pages and SAB pages show in the local packs.

Your last question - refer to the guidelines and know you'll get away with it until you don't...
 

anim8tr

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
8
wonderwoman, I believe that I am in compliance with the Google TOS, but I feel like I'm on the edge because: one, I'm a service area business; and two, my primary category is "Artist"

What I do is sell my artwork to local businesses, but I don't have a gallery. Instead, I visit my customers at their place of business, review their needs and then deliver and install onsite. This I feel makes me a true service area business which I am currently identified as on Google. I don't feel I've broken any of their guidelines.

I depend on Local Search because it identifies me as a local business, and online search is the primary way that people find out about my work.

That said, my questions are really more related to branded pages. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with them, and if so can they provide any insight into how well they show and perform in the SERP? Thank You.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,558
@anim8r

It's fine if you want to create a local Google+ page (AKA Google Places page). After all, Google does have an "Artist" category for local pages.

When they say "artists" should have "brand" pages, they're not referring to painters (which I assume you are). It's more for bands. They're saying KISS shouldn't have a Google Places page so that they rank in every city of their 73rd "goodbye" tour. Google would want them using a "brand" page.

Band = brand. Paint artist = totally OK for a local page.

The only gray area you fall into is that it sounds like you're primarily an online business. But if you also sell (or are willing to sell) art in-person you should be fine.

Oh, and "brand" pages never rank worth a damn. It's nice to avoid page 17.
 

anim8tr

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
8
Excellent... thank you so much Phil. That's big help and a relief!

Just like you mentioned the moniker "artist" is challenging because Google seems to equate "artists" to musicians more often than not. Not sure why this is, but it can get confusing for those of us involved in the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, print making, etc.) Thanks again for the reassurance.
 

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