Wednesday 23 Jan 2008
Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!
I’ve been hanging out at Mike Blumenthal’s local blog for the past few days waiting to hear the news that the new local one box – I’m thinking of it as the 10 box at this point – had gone live. Well, it has:
Where local businesses once only had 3 chances to appear at the top of the organic results in the one box – a formidable goal in competitive industries or busy cities – there are now 10 generous places, from A-J, to be filled.
The data I’m seeing appear in these listings, along with the small map, is:
- The business name, linking to their website
- The printed business URL, which doesn’t go anywhere
- The phone number
- Number of reviews linking to Google’s reviews, or a simple link for more information where no reviews are present
- A link both above and below the results that takes the user into Google Maps
A Couple Of Notes On This Change In Google Maps
I am a bit dubious about the repetition of the website link and the printed, static web address. That’s taking up a lot of space that might be better used to show the number of stars the business has been given by virtue of their reviewers. I liked David Mihm’s One Box suggestion for removing the map and using the freed-up space to show the stars. Yet, I can see how Google needs to use that little map to get new users accustomed to the idea that there is this whole great thing called Google Maps that you can click into to find all kinds of fabulous local information. My suggestion would be to use the static URL space for the stars. I’m just a fan of stars.
Take note of the fact that reviews are being given premium placement in this new 10 Box feature. Start getting those reviews for your local business, my friends. They are going to mean a lot!
It’s interesting to see in the search I did for Pizza Buffalo NY that a site with 12 reviews is being outranked by a site with as few as 2 reviews. It’s going to be worth it to start investigating the criteria for being in position A in Google Maps and the new Google 10 Box One Box. Is it being closest to the center of town? Having your business name start with the letter A? Having reviews from certain trusted sources or from power reviewer accounts? There are so many factors that must be a part of the Google Local Algorithm and I hope you’ll stay tuned to see what we discover as we continue to study Google Local Search.