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Google Places Page Hates Me


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Andy1342

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 04:41 PM

Does anyone actually understand Google places? I don't.

I'm a therapist in a UK city. I have a lot of local competition for searches like "depression Gotham City" or "hypnotherapy Gotham City". I recently cleaned up my Google Places page: I put in lots of relevant keywords, a photo or two, and I placed entries supporting the postcode (= zipcode) in all the UK directories which my competitors have entries in. For a week or two my (otherwise excellent) site soared to be number 3. Then it dropped right to the bottom of the Places listings (on page two of the "see more Places results" pages. My organic ranking keeps me on page one, but way down underneath all the Places results. Boring!!!

Only a few of my competitors have any reviews, so I don't think that's the factor. Any ideas why Google either doesn't notice me or is even penalising me?

Cheers

Andrew

#2 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:58 PM



is all your local information on your main website? if not then that right there is going to knock you down.

You have done right in ensuring that your site is listed in the local directories, but key here is ensuring that the title in the directories matches that which you are targeting.

Google changed their places algorithm massivley a few months back.

#3 Jill

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:55 AM

David Mihm just came out with his latest compilation of 2011 Local SEO Best Practices for Ranking in Google Places which may provide you with some clues and additional things to do.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

#4 ABAR

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:11 PM

My site comes up pretty high in Google places but it does not link to the website, rather it links to some google generated page that is boring.

One of our companies largest competitors also shoes up in Google places but their link goes straight to their website.

Is there a way to fix this?

Also, does Yahoo or Bing have comparable listings as Google Places?


#5 Andy1342

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:26 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 6 2011, 02:55 PM) View Post
Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Hi Jill,
Coming from you I thought this was kind of the SEO equivalent of 'the phrase you least want to hear from a computer support technician': "Your laptop says WHAT? Hey, man, what a bummer!"

Well I contacted a Google Places SEO expert here in the UK and what HE said is even worse, though in a mad way reassuring: He said that Google places hates him too! and that it is very slow to update changes, he can't find any rationality in it that you can rely on, and he's given up offering Google Places optimisation services.

And I will indeed report future progress.

#6 Jill

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:16 AM

Andy have you read the info in the link I provided above? Surely there's some things to try in there.

#7 cybernac

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:58 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 8 2011, 08:16 AM) View Post
Andy have you read the info in the link I provided above? Surely there's some things to try in there.


Thanks for the link, Jill. I just read it and it was very enlightening for me since I have clients with very specific locations! I had a lot of the same feelings of discouragement recently with Google Pages.

#8 Andy1342

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 07:11 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 8 2011, 02:16 PM) View Post
Andy have you read the info in the link I provided above? Surely there's some things to try in there.

OK, I think the problem is clear. Today for no reason, the Google Places dashboard page is showing half a dozen spurious entries, duplicating my real entry. When I spruced up the real entry a few weeks ago, I made lots of entries in UK business directories, as I read is needed. It looks like Google then scraped these other directories, made up the duplicates, and shot itself in the foot by confusing the duplicates with the real one. So I guess if I remove the duplicates, all will be well. Though how to stop Google doing this in the first place, is a valid question.

If I CAN remove the dupes - today all I get is "tried to phone you but called failed" and "invalid PIN", apparently there is currently a known bug with the Places PIN numbers.

Hey ho - we should be glad that Places doesn't work, 'cos I guess as soon as it does, it will turn into pay per click!

Cheers

Andy

#9 Jill

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:58 PM

QUOTE
Hey ho - we should be glad that Places doesn't work, 'cos I guess as soon as it does, it will turn into pay per click!


It already is in a way. You can attach it to your Adwords and get additional traffic that way.

#10 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 19 June 2011 - 07:01 PM

Andy, Google places UK is an absolute joke. The problem is they get data fed from various directories such as yell, thompsons etc, and they then mix it all up and kill the listing you confirmed.

here is the thing. many of these directories have in their T&C that you authorise them to be your agent with regard google places datafeeding, result? lots of people who are whitelisted to feed data into google, doing so (one of my sites is in this number, (I believe there are 6 in the UK)

#11 Andy1342

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:13 PM

QUOTE(OldWelshGuy @ Jun 20 2011, 01:01 AM) View Post
Andy, Google places UK is an absolute joke. The problem is they get data fed from various directories such as yell, thompsons etc, and they then mix it all up and kill the listing you confirmed.

here is the thing. many of these directories have in their T&C that you authorise them to be your agent with regard google places datafeeding, result? lots of people who are whitelisted to feed data into google, doing so (one of my sites is in this number, (I believe there are 6 in the UK)


Oh. Yes. Well, I need this to work. Should I laugh or cry? - please be specific!

I just spent a bewildering hour and it is REALLY a joke. For "hypnotherapy Gotham City" my place page does not show anywhere at all, even in the secondary place results, though one of the directory feeds does show near the bottom. But for "psychotherapy Gotham City" sometimes I don't appear at all, sometimes I am near the top of the places rankings. Google generates different URLs for the search depending on the phase of the moon and maybe which server you connect with. I could have one URL in one tab consistently trashing me, and in the next tab another URL always placing me at the top. So it's just mad.

Seriously, your post is very helpful. Do you know which directories have whitelisting powers? And I will delete my entries in those directories prontissimaximo.

Big thanks

Andy

#12 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:17 PM

yell, Scoot, & Thompsons are three biggest players.

My site is a Welsh site, wales.info , I doubt you are on there as it is mainly a tourism based site.

Feel free to fire me a list of sites over and i will take a look to see if theya re WL'ed

#13 Andy1342

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:48 AM

QUOTE(OldWelshGuy @ Jun 24 2011, 12:17 AM) View Post
yell, Scoot, & Thompsons are three biggest players.

Feel free to fire me a list of sites over and i will take a look to see if theya re WL'ed


Was I thorough? I was. Have I shot myself in the foot? Quite possibly. I'm listed on:

Freeindex
Yelp
Bizwiki
Qype
Smile Local
The Local Web
Thompson Local
Hotfrog
City Visitor (this apparently is the only way to get listed in Yahoo)
My 118
Scoot
Yalwa

I have deleted almost all the resulting duplicates which appeared on Google Places, except for a couple which need postcard confirmation - and these, I have suspended.

Currently, for my main search term, my real Places listing - the one with reviews - does not appear anywhere, no matter how low down, on the places results, BUT one of the duplicates IS in the results. However for another of my search terms, my real listing does appear in the results, quite high up in the "more places". So I don't even know whether to delete the duplicate or the original. (My site is nearly top in both the relevant organic searches. )

What to do? - Plan A is to do nothing for 4 weeks. Somewhere Google Places says that it only updates the places pages every 4 weeks. So maybe in that time frame, something will improve. Or, more duplicates will arise - the last lot showed up overnight.
Anyone suggest a plan B ...?

Cheers

Andy

#14 Andy1342

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:11 AM

QUOTE(Andy1342 @ Jul 1 2011, 09:48 AM) View Post
What to do? - Plan A is to do nothing for 4 weeks. Somewhere Google Places says that it only updates the places pages every 4 weeks. So maybe in that time frame, something will improve. Or, more duplicates will arise - the last lot showed up overnight.
Anyone suggest a plan B ...?


Replying to myself - Plan A worked! After 2 or 3 weeks my correct places listing suddenly appeared in a decent position on the front page of Google. Clearly Google only polls the places listings every few weeks, so you have to wait for changes to appear.

Equally clearly, it is is very important to get rid of duplicates. This can be time-consuming and boring if Google decides to send postcards instead of making phone calls.

Also, it appears that citations are not so important. I have assiduously gathered every citation I can, but I am not at the top of the places listings. It appears to be reviews that count more.

Cheers

Andy

#15 Jill

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 08:15 AM

Well they've just changed Places again and have made Google reviews the most prominent feature.




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