New Google Maps - The Pros Discuss Ramifications for Local SEO

a11c

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Jan 24, 2013
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Is anyone playing around with the new Google maps yet?

I'm finding the new features/interface easy to use, however, unless specifically searching for a business by name or with the screen zoomed into where the business is located, i'm having a hard time finding certain popular businesses.

The ad placement on maps is nice to, it seems that ads will be what makes your marker stand out more than your competition.

Any other thoughts
 
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DanLeibson

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May 17, 2013
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I really like the purple ad placement and Google Offers integration. In fact, I really like the whole thing. It's much more pleasing on the eye. Unfortunately, I don't think I am representative of the local business demographic that is going to have a hard time using this since its such a major change from the previous version.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hey Dan, welcome welcome! Thanks for posting.

Alex, I'm still waiting for my invite Google said they would give TCs early.

But Ryan just posted an awesome video walkthrough showing some of the changes that will affect us here.

Video Walkthrough of New Google Maps - Impact on Local SEO

He shows at one point what you are referring to about businesses hiding and not showing up. I have a post coming up this AM that will explain some of what's going on with that I think.
 

a11c

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Jan 24, 2013
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Seems that a lot of bugs are currently present too.

Indoor maps is not working anymore on desktop, and some people are experiencing black maps (a black background with highlighted streets and markers)
 

a11c

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Jan 24, 2013
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Because the new Google maps displays results on the map and the sidebar list is no longer present (initially) the results should probably have some sort of name right? First page doesn't work since there is no page anymore, top results are subjective to zoom level & whether you are signed in or not, so I'm coining the initial map results, "First Glance Results"

Does anyone have other suggestions?
 

freerunr

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Feb 7, 2013
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Goodbye rank as we knew it, hello Google+ activity influence. As Alex indicated, there really isn't a "first page" of results when searching in the new Maps interface. After performing a keyword search, you can select the option "Go to list of top results" to provide a page of search results, but Alex had noted that when compared to the results for the same search using old Maps, the results are quite different.

Building off of Ryan's http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/google-maps/7064-video-walkthrough-new-google-maps-impact-local.html, the question I pose is very basic: how will visibility (formerly known as rank) be determined when performing a search in Maps? One would think things like +1's and reviews left by others in your Circles would influence where you as an individual user sees listings show up, and if so, how will this limit us as Local SEO'ers?
 

Linda Buquet

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Great points all Alex and Kerry.

Some important topics I will be doing a new post about in more detail are...

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).


There are a lot of other things that are going to change our world with this new maps.

For example there is no link to the G+ Local page now. You can only get there if you click to see reviews. That's a double-edged sword and there is lots to discuss just with that one change. I've been discussing this part with Google alot today and kinda want to get my hands on the new maps and experiment before I share much of an opinion because like I said I can see pros and cons. Plus still so sick am not really thinking very straight. Will likely try to do a big post on Mon if I get my invite by then.
 

Keenan Glass

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Jul 27, 2012
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From a strategy stance, I think it behooves a local business to get as many people to follow their +Page.

Then again, I follow and manage pages that normally rank on the first page in legacy maps and those listings don't stand out for me in the new map at all. One is completely invisible now, buried under of competing businesses.

Hmmm... every website needs to become a cross between Wikipedia, the NY Times and American Idol.
 

Marie Ysais

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Sep 18, 2012
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Hi Linda, have you completed the new post you mentioned above yet? I wanted to make sure I didn't miss it!
thanks!
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Marie,

No sorry, due to being so sick, plus not getting my Maps invite yet, it's postponed. Thought was going to get invite Friday but it didn't come. I never publish good stories on weekends because too many folks would miss it. So will probably be Mon or Tues if I get my invite and even if I don't I'll likely post what I know so far and Ryan said he'd do screenshots for me if needed.
 

a11c

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Jan 24, 2013
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I found an interesting behavior in the new maps affecting "Maps results", "go to list of top results" and how geography is applied to local search.

For search "Minneapolis Criminal defense attorney"
newmaps.jpg

When clicking "go to list of top results", the search query applied to the "top results" omits the geography.
newmaps1.png

I dont know how important this is but I thought it was interesting how Google is taking the geography out of the query but is still using it as a search location.



 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for sharing the screenshots Alex, that is interesting!

Hi Linda, have you completed the new post you mentioned above yet?
Marie, I decided to hold it until tomorrow. Have most of it written, but there are some things I want to SEE and still don't have invite.

Ryan has a Google Hangout in 15 min and I'm hoping he'll show the things I requested so I can see it live and add some observations to my post tomorrow.

Ryan's Hangout: New Google Maps Hangout Scheduled
 

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