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Google Places: Citation Symetry vs. SEO of listing vs. Keyword in busines name.

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by RoscoeT, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Junior Member

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    I've been reading quite a bit about G places optimization and I have successfully gotten a local business into #2 spot in places and their site on the first page for one set of their main keywords. Things are going well for them. But the more I read and the more I experiment I'm left with a question.

    Some studies and white papers on the ranking factors for local SEO/places like this one (including comments section)
    http://marketaire.com/2011/12/21/internet-marketing-local-seo-citations/

    claim that NAP (Name Address Phone) symmetry of your citations is critical. Meaning if your company name( in this case a fake hair salon) on GP is "Sharppe Designs 123 fake ave, sometown" you should make sure that your citations all read exactly the same. Avoid citations like (Sharppe Designs hair salon, #9 123 fake ave NW, Sometown)

    This make a lot of sense to me. But here is the thing.

    Some Google places pages that I'm looking at have either optimized the name on the listing to contain keywords, or the business name listed has the keyword.

    So in the case above, keyword being "hair salon" the non optimized places page for "Doug's Hair Salon" ranks better than the highly optimized "Sharppe Designs" places page. Based simply on the fact that "Doug's Hair Salon" has the keyword in the business name.

    Now, people are not likely to change their business name to rank better in the SERP.

    So, what's the advice here?

    Reject the SEO gurus and change your GP listing to read "Sharppe Designs Hair Salon" even though the business name is simply "Sharppe Designs" on all citations and such?


    Or leave it as is and hope that symmetry matters more and that in time other SEO will overcome it.
    Right now IMHO it seems that keyword in business name ranks super high in places. Almost as much as Exact Match Domains used to.

    I see some guys are even keyword stuffing the listings title. Probably a short term gain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  2. Nauthiz666

    Nauthiz666 Senior Member

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    This is a good question man. Most sites I see for my clients are ranked not so much on titles etc. I think ideally would make more sense to just stick with the business name and drop the keyword in the description. From what I hear if citations aren't matching it can mess shit up.
     
  3. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Junior Member

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    You make a good point there. I can't disagree with you.
    But there are guys in certain niches that do rank for them.
     
  4. BluRoze

    BluRoze Registered Member

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    Google themselves say to not put keywords into a citation or listing title if that is not the actual name of the business. They will penalize you for that.
     
  5. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Junior Member

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    Yes but like all things googlish they don't apply evenly. Places is especially bad for uneven policies. This may change but for now, it's working well for them.
     
  6. MagicMike

    MagicMike Power Member

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    I wouldn't change the name of the business just to get a keyword in the title... you're asking for trouble if there are, in fact, citations around with a different name. If its a new business or one with no citations, I would definitely stick the keyword on the end of there real business name sense there is no real way for G to check this with certainty. It does help to have the keyword in the title, but it can hurt big-time if you get caught.
     
  7. ESM2012

    ESM2012 Regular Member

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    Keep it straight and simple as you are doing now. Google Places is always having some sort of changing going on. Hold fast with what your doing, build those citations, fully optimize and insure the website itself is grows in strength. I have several GP clients and although it can be frustrating, I have found even when change comes..my clients still win. Good Luck and keep charging on!!!
     
  8. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Junior Member

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    I take that as good advice. Thanks.
     
  9. mwilton13

    mwilton13 Newbie

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    I'd say in the case of Google Places keep on at it the way you have. In my experience you run into more issues when toying with business names than its worth. I'd also be curious to know where you are experiencing the better rankings. Are we talking strictly in a search in Google Maps or are we talking organic SERPs? Its important to remember that in some cases Google is taking into account on page factors in addition to local optimization factors. It all depends on where you are looking. Also remember, that in many cases if its a blended result in the SERPs the name of the business will appear as it does on the website and not as it appears in Google Places.
     
  10. dragon123

    dragon123 Regular Member

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    I agree with everything above.
    Just keep doing what you are doing otherwise you could get banned or find your listings disappearing.