Google+ Local Listings – Five Ways to Shoot Yourself in the FootAuthor: Jamie | Filed under: Local Search
If you’ve got a local business it’s only natural to want to appear in the map listings when someone searches for a relevant keyword followed by your location.
As with any form of optimisation, there is the right way and a wrong way to go about improving your listing. In this article I’ll talk about five tactics you should avoid at all costs.
#1 – Faking it
The number of reviews you get on your Google+ Local listing can have an influence on how well you rank. Because of this, a lot of local business owners have resorted to creating fake positive reviews of their company in a bid to try to get the number one spot for a chosen keyword.
If Google suspects any wrongdoing on your listing, the chances are you’ll get penalised and face a lengthy wait for inclusion again.
As with all forms of optimisation, it’s best to do things properly as the consequences can be disastrous if you’re found to be ‘cheating’ the system.
#2 – Not using your business address
Another area where people try to manipulate rankings is their business address. For example, if you owned a hairdresser’s in a suburb of Liverpool, you may not be able to get listed as you’re not near the city centre.
In scenarios such as this, it’s been known for people to set up P.O. boxes with a city centre address to try to gain an advantage. There are two main problems with this; first of all, any potential customers won’t see your actual address and secondly, you will be penalised by Google if this is spotted or reported to them.
#3 – Spamming your description
The description on your Google+ Local listing should be written naturally. Some people think they’ll get ranked better by just stuffing this with a whole load of keywords, but again, this is more likely to result in a penalty than any advantage over your local competitors.
#4 – Creating multiple listings
Some business owners take a scattergun approach to their map listings. By creating more than one with slightly different details they generally think that at least one of them will rank well using the law of averages.
Fortunately Google is wise to this kind of tactic. If you have one business in one location you should only have one listing.
#5 – Trying to manipulate categories
Your address lets Google know your location so there’s really no need to spam the categories with terms such as “Hairdressing Liverpool”, “Hairdresser Liverpool”, “Haircuts Liverpool” and “Barbers Liverpool”.
All it does is demonstrate to Google you’re trying too hard to ‘work the system’ and a subsequent penalty may be enforced.
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