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My (Nyagoslav Zhekov) presentation from SMX West 2012 on Solving Problems and Seeing Success in Google Places. It covers mostly the basics of the internal clustering system, as well as some tools that could help you deal with the most frequent problems on Google Places.
Solving Problems & Seeing Success in Google Places: The Basics
Presented by:Nyagoslav Zhekov, OptiLocal
How a “Place” is Created “Listing” vs. “Cluster”“Each local business listing on Google is in fact a giantcluster’ of information that we get from a few differentplaces: Yellow Pages, for example, as well as otherthird-party providers.”(Source: Google Places Help articles) Data Sources: Local Business Center (Google Places for Business) Yellow pages and feed data providers Scraped content from other websites User Generated Content Source: Joel Headley, Google Maps team, June 2009
Google Decisions: Merging Data vs. Creating a New Cluster and Which Data to Display Publicly Threshold for merging vs. creating a new cluster: Low threshold => merging data for different businesses High threshold => creating duplicates for the same business The main determining factor - N.A.P. Which data will be displayed: Trustworthiness of the source Recency of the data Completeness of the data Number of sources displaying the same data(Source: Egon Pasztor & Daniel Egnor, “Generating Structured Information” patent, 2006)
Data Sources for Google Places (In order of their importance) 1. Owner-verified business data via Google Places 2. Data via business directories: a) Yelp* b) Super Pages c) City Search d) Yellow Pages e) Info Group f) Yahoo Local g) Insider Pages h) Niche Industry websites i) Others (Source: David Mihm, Local Search Ranking Factors, 2011) 3. Approved UGC 4. Scraped dataSource: Interview with Eric Stein, Search Engine Land, October 2008 Source: Getlisted.org, 2009-2012
Preventing Problems Check your N.A.P. consistency Local Citation Finder (Whitespark) Local Search Scorecard (Yext) Getlisted.org (David Mihm, Inc.) Local SEO Check-up (Bright Local) Screenshot: Local Search Scorecard by Yext Be careful which account you use when claiming/creating the listing Check the email associated with this account frequently Update your listing frequently Follow the Google Places Quality Guidelines
When the Problem Occurs When do problems occur? Reporting a problem via the “Report a problem” GP frontend tool What is the “Report a problem” Action time Response rate Efficiency Reporting duplicates No option to report mergers
When the Problem Occurs (Cont.) Editing the information via Map Maker What is Google Map Maker o Basics o Availability Editing a place Deleting a duplicate o What is a duplicate o What is not a duplicate Approval process o Trust system o Google Reviewers
When the Problem Occurs (Cont.) Using the troubleshooter What is the troubleshooter How the troubleshooter works o What you can report o What you cannot report Why it is the best option o Response rate o Comparison with “Report a problem”
Google Places Help Forum Posting on the Google Places Help Forum (www.google.com/support/forum/p/Places) Posting recommendations Top Contributors Google Employees
Useful Resources 1. Google Places help articles (http://support.google.com/places)2. Google Map Maker help articles (http://support.google.com/mapmaker)3. Understanding Google Places & Local Search Blog (http://blumenthals.com/blog)4. Google Lat-Long Blog (http://google-latlong.blogspot.com)5. Local Search Ranking Factors, by David Mihm (http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml)6. Google Places Troubleshooting: Best Practice for Dealing with a Merged Listing, by Mike Blumenthal (http://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/01/19/google-places-troubleshooting- best-practice-for-dealing-with-a-merged-listing)7. How to Deal with Duplicate Listings on Google Places, by Nyagoslav Zhekov (http://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/fix-duplicate-listings-google- places.html)8. Googles Local Search Patent Application, by Bill Slawski (http://www.seobythesea.com/2006/09/googles-local-search-patent)