Custom service categories in places

Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
88
Is it a good or a bad idea to add service categories to you places page that aren't auto populated when you type in a word? I don't remember being able to do this before, but it seems to be an option now. I don't mean anything spammy just something like "plumber" when it auto populates "plumbing service" I would always use the top three auto populated categories for my business, but it seems I can add two more.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
88
It's fine to use all 5 including custom cats. Just be sure they comply with the "is not does" rule. Read the guidelines and it will explain what that means.
Appreciate the response! I ended up learning a couple of other little tweaks I needed to make based on the quality guidelines. I had read them before but had never read them while actively looking for something.

My originally custom categories would not have been alright, but I added in a couple of different things.
 

Flash

1
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
185
For anyone reading this in the future, not spammy and not repetitious is also important not only for how the algorithms rank you, but also because Maps editors, both employees and volunteers, will end up editing/removing any such categories.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,294
Great point Flash!

When optimizing a business for Google Places, one has to not only think how Google will interpret the information, but also how Google employees and maps editors will view it.

It's like trying to please two similar (both want end results to be relevant) but different (robot vs human) authorities. A fun game indeed :D
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,438
Don't forget plumbing company and plumbing contractor. ;)

Yep some folks get carried away. :eek:

One of the things I teach early on in my course is that you have to learn to think like Google. Learn what she likes so you can give her more of that AND what she hates and what trips her spam filters so you can avoid those things. :)
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
88
Interesting stuff! I bet some of this lesson could be applied to on site optimization and also link building.

does it provide a benefit in ranking to hit your main service with a couple of custom categories involving derivatives of the term? I have been kind of spread out picking up long tail keywords (which is helping, but would way rather rank in my primary SERPS)
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
497
Hi WineCountryCarpetCleaning,

If you're in the carpet cleaning business, there is a pre-set category which would be your obvious pick for your first category. That category would be:

Carpet Cleaning Service

...according to Mike Blumenthal's category tool.

Unless I'm missing a category, the rest of yours will, by nature, have to be custom categories that say what you are...not what you do.

I would try to reverse engineer the scenario and see if there are other searches apart from 'carpet cleaning service' that are bringing up blended/local results and are not too nearly duplicating of your main category. Perhaps Steam Cleaning Service or something along those lines. There are a lot of ways in which you can figure out desirable custom categories. This is just one of them.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
88
I have found a couple of custom categories that are producing fairly well already, the traffic is low, but so is the competition. So far I am only using "carpet cleaning service" the rest are custom cat that relate to other services the business provides. Linda's post got me thinking about adding carpet cleaning company" as we'll as "carpet cleaning service" I have a couple of custom categories that get no traffic whatsoever, so I have one or two to spare if it gave any bump to my rankings for "carpet cleaning" which is my main money term.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,438
So far I am only using "carpet cleaning service"… Linda's post got me thinking about adding carpet cleaning company" as we'll as "carpet cleaning service"
No I was joking and being snarky. Actually our point above is it's spammy to keep repeating the same keywords in categories. I would def not use both.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
88
Lol, that is so funny! Read it on my way out of the house this morning and almost changed my categories before I left. Apparently sarcasm is lost on me. You guys are awesome, thanks for clueing me in :)
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,438
No worries, my dry humor does not always translate well in writing.

I just added a wink smiley to that comment. ;)
 

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