Why Google Places?

“I just don’t get this Google Places. What’s it all about?”

“It’s for people who travel a lot to show off where they’ve been…”

This was an exchange I saw recently on Facebook between a couple of my friends.

The first was talking about the Google Places Pages – free websites that are often set up for companies by Google based on their presence in various trusted local listing (citations) directories. These then show up on the maps and the listings for locally based searches as red dots and red balloons with a letter in the centre. If you’ve got a balloon with A-E in it next to your Places Page in the body of the first page of search results, you’re more likely to get traffic clicking through to your site.

If you can’t see one for your business, you can create your own by logging in to your gmail account and typing in your phone number to see if one has been set up.

These mini-adverts for your business are also used by Google in conjunction with your website as markers that help them decide where to place your site on the search engine results pages (SERPS).

You are given the chance to claim these pages and then fill them full of useful information about your business to appeal to local users. There is also a place for customers to leave feedback in the form of reviews. If you fully complete all the sections of the page with relevant details about your product/service and have a nice bunch of positive comments, Google will give you lots of juice and a higher position on the results pages it produces when potential customers search for a keyword relating to your business.

The person who attempted to answer the question was talking about the App that appears on Smart Phones and allows mobile users to see a variety of local businesses in the surrounding area. First there was Foursquare and its popularity has led others to join the party. What started as a social game for checking in has evolved to encompass reviews, coupons and recommendations.

If you have your permissions set to allow it, you can also see what other people have said about those businesses as well as leaving your own reviews. This is like Google Places on mobile.

Originally posted 2011-04-14 12:14:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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