When it comes to local Google SEO, there are really three ways to play. You can create a local page on your website, you can create a local page on another website (such as Yelp) and you can create a Google Places (Google +) profile. Just like Google has quality guidelines for websites, they also have guidelines for Google Places. In many cases, people try to spam Google Places. The reason being, you can get high-ranking, great traffic and leads if your Google Places account ranks well in the Google search space (you should see some of the spammy Google Places Pages in our industry, it can be really frustrating to see those pages ranking well).
On Feb 21, 2014 Google Updated their Google Places Quality Guidelines. The basic idea behind these updates was to reduce spammy practices such as using keywords instead of company names, stuffing contact information into marketing taglines clear up any misconceptions on other naming conventions.
Here are the Updates to the Google Places Quality Guidelines
- Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title.
- In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.
- Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.
- Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Delivery”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery”, or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas”.
Good luck with the new Google Places quality guidelines. These changes were really needed. It will be a good thing for the industry.