Merged Google+ Local pages are amazing for improving rankings!

Cleaner44

Inactive
Joined
Aug 31, 2012
Messages
51
I have been testing the new Google+ Local pages since they were released a few weeks ago and I am seeing rankings improve in 1 hour after merger. Regardless of whatever bugs that may exist, the pros are outweighing the cons from what I can see. I see so many bugs with the Places only listings that merging to the + pages is a wash as far as I am concerned.

The results come from setting the Categories properly on the Google+ Local pages. The list of Categories is not the exact same and we can't create custom Categories, but the standard Categories and the expanded Description are giving me all that I need to move a listing up rather quickly.

The Google+ Local pages are not the end-all and be-all by themselves, but what I see is an unleashing of bottled up potential with listings. I highly recommend others test this too. Check the rankings for a couple of Categories for a listing and then re-check 1-2 hours after merging. I have done this multiple times with great results.

Has anyone else seen this?
 

JacobPuhl

Inactive
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
23
Yes agree... saw this twice earlier this week. However we were doing some local citation building at the same time, but it did seem to have an immediate affect. One example went from not listed at all in the maps to #11 for a competitive term in the home building category in a US city with a population of about 2 million if that helps. The other didn't see quite that jump but there was definitely movement.

Always hard to pinpoint when there are many variables changing at once, but definitely interesting :)
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,821
Are you just going through the process of setting up a Google+ page and then merging it with your Google+ Local page?

Is this what you mean by "merging"?
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
Yes Josh, that's what he means.

But be advised Mike Blumenthal, myself and even Jade from Google say it's buggy and may be best to wait. See this important thread: http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-local-important/1324-google-local-really-broken-whos-charge-whats.html

Even though Places is buggy, the bugs are a little more known and easier to figure out. The bugs that happen with merges are often uncharged territory and even Google does not know how to fix sometimes. For instance the 500 error has been going on since August and is STILL not fixed. Over 100 posts in the forum about it. There there are TONS of other problems too.

See this thread from Jade about a few of the many known problems: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/business/tK6133zBZ1Y

Plus keep in mind that many types of business you should not even attempt to merge as they are not supported. This includes service area businesses with address hidden, multi-location businesses and Places listings that have data problems. See this post for businesses that should NOT merge: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/business/nqzouJ3KkU8/_loAS8QnQ44J

So you should only even consider trying to merge if it's a clean Places listing with no problems AND it's a storefront or commercial walk-in office like a Dr.

IF a listing qualifies to merge, just be prepared for time consuming, hair pulling problems there may not be answers to. Want HUNDREDS OF EXAMPLES? Just check the G forum.

I think if merges go well it can be a beautiful thing. Unfortunately I never hear about the success stories, only all the problems. So thanks for posting and it's great to know it CAN work out well.

I just think it's really important for folks to understand all the issues before deciding to try it.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
293
It makes sense that these features would rank better:

1. Google wants people to merge local features with G+ business pages
2. There aren't many that have merged so the ones that have will do better
 

Kel

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
27
I am noticing a lot of long standing/verified listings start dropping like a rock and losing pictures. These are not service based businesses, either. Could this be a push to move businesses to G+?
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
Kel, my spidey senses tell me something buggy is going on.

But I've been too wrapped up in my own tech problems (PC crash) to be involved at the G forum to try to get finger on the pulse of what's going on. But have seen enough weird issue that it suggest to me an update shake up. AND the new edit details UI just rolled out yesterday and it may be causing issues.

I'm trying to play catch up today and will report in new thread if there is anything major going on. But keep eye on the new thread about the Edit Details UI update.
 
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Adam

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2013
Messages
4
I've seen a few businesses skyrocket recently after merging their local and business pages. I understand it's not recommended, maybe this is a bug or just a sign of things to come. In the mean time, those who take the risk and 'win' are killing it.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,307
Forgot to circle back and add the following post that explains it's not just Mike and I being cautious or critical and then Jade agreeing we should wait. Google including Joel Headley and the Google help doc in the forum even says wait, don't merge. In fact just last week on G+ Joel said it again.

http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-business-pages/4058-dont-merge-google-local-g-business-pages.html

I've seen a few businesses skyrocket recently after merging their local and business pages. I understand it's not recommended, maybe this is a bug or just a sign of things to come. In the mean time, those who take the risk and 'win' are killing it.
Thanks for posting Adam and I can see that happening. My goal is to educate folks so they don't blindly merge just because they've heard you can or think they should, without understanding the risks.

The risk is having your listing go south or disappear or being locked out of editing, or losing reviews or any other number of problems FOR MONTHS. So as long as you warn the client and charge extra for your time - in the event you have to fight and do extra work trying to fix problems in uncharted waters there is no fix for yet - then I think it's fine.

Like I said, I think when it works it can be a beautiful thing and I can see where it could give you an early advantage since many in your market may not have yet. I just want to be sure folks know Google does not recommend it and it's super buggy.
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
74
Maybe I'm the minority here, but any of our clients who merged into G+ likely saw a decrease in rankings. Best thing to do is leave it alone.
 

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