Googles adding of a descriptor to the Business Name in Places and its + Local Business…

Feb 24 2014

Googles adding of a descriptor to the Business Name in Places and its + Local Business page means many people will be updating this field.

Have you had issues with your Places entry being merged with other businesses in the past?

One scenario is where your business name is similar to another one.

Another  is where there is a close by business with the same Category.

Whilst adding the descriptor to the business name should not affect this issue it may be a good time to consider these past problems and do a bit or re-branding or if you like better discrimination.

Google started of by collecting free data from the web and then merging similar data together in order to create a free listing for each entity it identified. This is not a perfect process and extra significant words in a business name can reduce these problems.

Always before settling on a business name try searching for it in your location to make sure there is no similar result shown up.

A simple example is where several family businesses are run out of one home or unit and each has the family name as a common word.

Another is where Google's hash key it creates for your words is the same as for another nearby business. I have seen a made up word in a name be associated with an abortion clinic in this way.

When Googles algorithms merge the data they find off the web they often simply look at the text and do not consider the context. Listings with an address containing the word 'lodge' have a Category 'Holiday Park' added to the merged listing, even when the Places categories are totally different.

So adding more differentiating details about the business in the Places description and in more generous web directory entries can reduce these merge or classification problems.

Google have belatedly embraced Semantic Web technology where the meaning of your content is assessed. Writing with meaning rather than simple keyword stuffing will help to differentiate your Places and matching web directory data making for a better merge experience.

So if you are going to add the single descriptor to the business name you have, just review your Places entry and web directory data at the same time.

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Google have updated its Places Business Guidelines to allow an additional single…

Feb 22 2014

Google have updated its Places Business Guidelines to allow an additional single descriptor to qualify the business name in search.

Before you rush off to change your Places entry Business Name, and in its associated + Local Business page, you need to know how to re-brand properly to show the search results Google+ page with your new name.

Googles primary business model is to copy and merge public web data, from a set of sources, to create the free main body of a search result. They then sell placement of adverts round these result.

In order to monetise part of these placed adverts they added the Places and Your Business entry on top of Maps. And then sell enhanced appearance in search for these entries via Adwords.

Your Places entry data is used as an indication of what you want to appear in search BUT the over-riding source is the merged data Google finds out on the web.

So the best method, once you have chosen a suitable NEW business name, is to first go out and change all you other web directory data to the new business name.

Leave your + Local Business page, Places entry, website and blog alone at the moment.

After a few weeks or months, depending on the breadth and depth of your web presence, you will find the new name appearing on your search result Google+ page. Google may even update your Places entry name. You can then safely change you own Places entry, + Local Business page, website and blog names.

In the USA this can be a big administrative effort because of the large upstream directories, Acxiom, Localeze and ExpressUpdate. These push and pull data so you have to break into this cycle.

I resell the Yext Power Listing which automates this update process for you. One advantage its makes it easy to do additional seasonal, topical or promotional changes throughout the year. I offer 60 minutes of consultancy in addition for buying the book through my Google site.

My own Places entry shows the Google merge process in action. When Google+ was introduced I had to re-brand to include the + Local Business page as in my blog:

However as you see from my original Google site entry I had a 'descriptor' of Consultant.

Despite me changing Googles change of 'Help' to 'Consultant' in the + Local Business page and Places entry a couple of times Googles choice rules:

While you are updating your web directory data take the opportunity to re-fresh your descriptions to detail your offering, essential with Googles now mandatory choice of their Categories. And to take in Googles new Semantic Web conversion as well. My Ebook marketing partner is a psychologist and specialises in writing web site landing pages for conversion and of course this feeds back into the texts semantic value in search.

If you have an old Edit screen Places entry, not yet updated with a + Local Business page, you need to go in and remove any custom categories you have set up, as this may affect the conversion to the new Edit screen.

#Maps #localbusiness #semanticweb  

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Places and Maps Business Consultant
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Google Business Name Guidelines Update

Feb 22 2014

Google have announced an upgrade to the content of the Business Name in the Places entry. And so its associated + Local Business page.

Google has updated their Google Business Guidelines for a Places entry:

Places quality guidelines

Adding a descriptor to clarify your service in + Local Business page, its associated Places entry which drives the Google+ search results page for a local search in Google Maps.

Jade Wang of the Google and Your Business forum posted the change details:

Google Places Help

One example given will allow relevant businesses to show up for:
‘Pizza delivery (in location)’
On a location enabled device, mobile sensing or browser default town and post code, the ‘in location’ defaults.

As always you need to stick to the spirit of the change in order to not garner a spam penalty.

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