This session goes above and beyond Google Places (and now Google Plus Local) to gain an edge in the local search space.
The issue Google faces with local search is finding the best way to rank a phone book. The way Google does this has changed dramatically over time, with the most recent updates throwing everyone even more off-kilter.
Post-Venice blended results you are seeing organic and local results mixed together, along with map placement, reviews added, and place pages all lumped together on the same SERP.
Google Places & Google+… Changes you’ll see with Google+ Local:
Mike’s agenda in business is to fight the Black Hat local SEO tactics out there. He’s under the impression that most SEO’s are not White Hat or Black Hat, most fall in the gray area in the middle. His focus is around negative local SEO, i.e. efforts that harm others.
Major Issue: Fake Reviews. Online reviews are really trusted and taken into consideration by online users and shoppers. This, on top of the fact that they are really easy to create, are the reasons why people out there go out of their way to post fake reviews. Here’s one example out there:
Resubmitting Negative Reviews – this ensures the bad review is constantly on top, drawing more attention to it.
Google+ local – this will make your chances of finding the existing fake reviewers very slim, since it will just say “google user” instead of a name. However, reviews made going forward will be harder to fake, since you have to use your real name and information. It will be easier to track down reviewers since a full name will be provided, as well as people will be less likely to leave bad reviews since it can more easily be tracked back to them.
Get notifications when negative reviews are posted. Look into the review account, if possible. Research and be sure the review is indeed fake or is actually true, and the either deal with the issue if it’s true or flag as inappropriate if it turns out to be fake.
Imposters. Black Hats could be out there posing as you, posting inaccurate information into your profiles.
Solution: Claim as many profiles as you can immediately that you’d need, and fill out all the information as possible to accurately portray your business. You want to be able to control the content about your business.
Potential issues that you could run into with MapMaker:
Always stay on top of your profiles and listings, keep an eye out for imposters, spammers, and hijackers and take action quickly if you ever run into these issues.
One thing you can do to make your local business more prominent in search, is content creation.
Local Content: It’s predictable and repeatable. Try to spend time to talk about what you are doing in the area, and provide a lot of details about every aspect of that event, promotion, sponsorship, etc.
An example of creating local content. Sponsor a Marathon, Half Marathon, or 5K.
Possible content you can use:
Not only can you provide this content on your own site, you can also use it on many different social profiles, from Facebook to Panoramio. There will be a lot of buzz around the event, and you want to be sure you are taking advantage of all the people who will be looking for information about it.