With the rising prominence of localized and social results presents opportunities for online businesses to boost local search traffic. Local search has spread across the web, mobile, social networking, search engines, apps, social review and check-in sites.
Google Maps is about getting images of places but also about obtaining data which is used as part of maps, navigation and local business information.
Google indexes all content on the web and is now indexing the world with over 60 million places on it’s index. Google organizes the world’s information geographically. A map is created that contains all the world information organized around places, identifying references to businesses and associated content. Google ranks places based on relevance, prominence and distance. Google looks at all references to those places across the web and each time a PlaceRank is identified for prominence and indexes the content that helps to find matches on relevance based on users’ queries. The distance is based on where they are standing with their mobile phone, position of map viewport or the what their domain is when they issue a query.
Most of Google’s search queries now have localized intent. The location of the user along with the information typed into the search box is a huge query input. This information is very helpful to Google, because people are looking for physical places where they can have a face to face transaction.
It is vital for businesses that Google knows where they are or else they won’t get a high ranking for a localized search. They should make sure that their information, marker location and category are accurate in order to claim their Google Places listing. Information on how people are searching, frequency of visitors clicking on their website and where they are coming from these are helpful stats for businesses.
Google is looking for more structured information. It wants to be 1oo percent sure that it is displaying correct information about a business so the more places that a business’s information matches up- example BT directories, Yell or Yelp the more confidence Google has that it is an established, real business. So, business owners can add their data for free to many local search and directory sites and take full advantage of free advertising.