Don’t Make Google Think, Claim Your Google Places Listing

Ask any local search authority and you’ll find out that step one online for a small business is claiming your local listing with the major search engines.  Without even having a website, your local listing like Google Places can be a great marketing tool for a business.

What happens if you don’t claim your listing? Well, you leave Google to guess …  and they might guess that your one location, small town meat shop is a billion dollar, global fast food restaurant.  I’m not kidding.

google local search maps issue

Above is the local listing for McDonald’s Meats, an awesome little butcher shop in Clear Lake, MN.  If you notice the reference to mcdonalds.com domain, I think we can see how this unclaimed listing isn’t getting the right business the local search traffic.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Make Google Think, Claim Your Google Places Listing”

  1. Well, it looks like this is not longer a valid example as Google has made the update. Wow! They are fast!

    Regardless, I think the example was a good one and am curious to see if something like this can be found elsewhere.

  2. I’m wondering if something else is going on there. When Google has an unclaimed listing, don’t they usually link to maps.google.com. They don’t try to guess the the url might be, but they may list a URL if that data feed is coming from somewhere else. In other words, I don’t think it’s Google guessing, so much as it is Google just passing on information they found elsewhere on the net. I’ve seen similar unclaimed listings for example, that had categories and even transit routes defined. I’ve also seen people with claimed listing, have second unclaimed listings with old addresses and phone numbers, meaning there was no way to claim (ie: verify) they were the owner of that old listing. So not only is it a great idea to claim your listing on Google, but also to use a universal listing service like localeze or ubl.org to make sure your local data is consistent across the net.

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