Category Archives: Local Business Directory

Local SEO expert, Andrew Shotland, recently wrote an article about the four keys to post-panda directory success. We found it informative and wanted to share his tips with our readers! Here are the key takeaways from his article on Search Engine Land.

  1. Quality: Make sure to submit to high quality directories. Usually this means paid niche directories, however some unpaid directories are high quality. Make sure the directory is Google indexed and stay away from directories that don’t have an editorial process or are full of ads.
  1. Relevance: Make sure the directories you are submitting to have a relevant category for your business. If you are visiting a directory that is all about hair and beauty and you stumble upon a listing for a car dealership, you’re going to lose trust in that directory. Google loses trust in them too. In fact it has been actively de-indexing directories that allow irrelevant listings. Bottom line, relevance is important, so make sure to submit your listing to directories that relate to your business.
  1. Diversity: It’s important to have a diverse link profile meaning, directory submissions are not enough. You must make sure to use various deep links as well as write several titles, descriptions and keywords and alternate between them when submitting. Using the same title, description and keywords for each submission could get you penalized by Google, so remember, variety is key.
  1. Timing: Instead of submitting to hundreds of directories at once and hoping that some accept your listing, in this post-panda era it’s a good idea to submit to relevant niche directories over the course of a few months.

What techniques do you use when submitting to directories?

Google Places received a recent facelift that left it with a few noteworthy changes. Although there are no changes in ranking factors, the detail citations are no longer shown and the review results have changed. Here is an overview of the important changes to Google Places.

1. The “Write a review” button is now found in two places. It is also larger and red.

2. Any Google user can now upload a photo to the business listing.

3. Detail references and attributes are not displayed or linked to. However, since rankings appear to be holding steady, the details are most likely still working behind the scenes. It is our speculation that the loss of the detail attributes is only temporary.

4. The reviews found on the listing are only those left by Google users as opposed to ones pulled from Yelp, Citysearch and other review sites Google used to show in results.
The changes to Google Places does not appear to be currently affecting rankings. However, Local Splash will continue to monitor this and report any further findings. For more information, read Google’s statement on the changes to Google Places on this Google Blog.

Gplaces 20110721

Screenshot Of The Changes Made To Google Places

Google, along with other top search engines, is currently competing to provide you with the best local search engine possible. That’s why they’ve already gathered information on millions of local businesses – to provide you with the most relevant information possible through Google Places. Google Places is a local business directory that provides users information about local businesses such as address, phone number, description, business hours, photos, videos, reviews, driving directions and more. If your business is listed in Google Places it will also be able to show up on the Google Map, which appears at the top of the search results page and helps direct consumers right to your business location.

Odds are, if you’re not a new business, your company already has a Google Places listing. So you may be asking, “if my company is already listed, why do I need to bother with ‘claiming’ my listing?”

Although Google may already have your business in its database, the information it has may not be correct and it is certainly not optimized. Google and other search engines often obtain incorrect or outdated information that can really put a damper on your rankings. Sometimes duplicate listings are made by mistake, which doesn’t only confuse your potential customers but also the search engines, which penalize you with lower rankings.

Claiming your business has many advantages. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should claim your business on Google Places:

1. You can update your information easily when needed – Once your local business information is on Google Places, Google is not going to update it. This means that there could be misinformation about your business on your listing as well as outdated information. Claiming your business allows you to edit this information as needed, giving you full control over your business’s image.

2. Optimizing your local listing is an option – Once you claim your listing, you will be able to optimize it using keywords and categories to help it get to the top of the Maps. Listings that haven’t been claimed have little or no local SEO, so claiming your listing and adding more information will make it complete and give you an advantage over your competitors.

3. Adding enhancements – Once you claim your Google listing, you can add enhancements that make your listing more appealing to the search engines and your potential customer. Adding more information such as business hours, videos, a URL to your Website, coupons, photos and more will help consumers who view your listing. These enhancements also make your listing look better to Google and you will be rewarded with higher search rankings.

Google wants businesses to claim their listing. For this reason, when a business is claimed, higher search rankings will follow. The bottom line is, if you claim your Google business listing, you will have more control over your online image, higher rankings and more consumers will be able to see your listing. This means more potential new customers leading to more profit.