Google Maps and Businesses

Little Gent Tech NewsDid you know that you can have a Google business listing on their Maps? If you have one set up, then good for you. You’ve probably included your business address, phone and website – plus you might be able to include videos, pictures and area of service.

And did you know that there are limits to what you can include or claim? If you offer fitness classes at a gym, you can’t claim that as your business location if you don’t own the gym, even though that might be perfectly reasonable.

All of this is very important for your business as businesses with those listings may be displayed more prominently in the future.

Busy Google

Google moves Google is staying busy. They have improved search support, improved search results by serving up the newest available results, potentially launching a music service and brought Google+ to 40 million users.

Google also made fan pages for Google+ users to create. So your Google+ social media page will be linked with your business’s fan page which will inevitably be linked to your Places page (Maps) – you can be sure to see better results in search rankings over time because of it all.

And this is all just the tip of the iceberg. Google is continually working on improving everything. For example, just look at some maps improvements that they are working on and other improvements to services like Google Analytics and adding channels to YouTube.

The real kickers are the things that you are affected by just as a casual Google user and have no idea about. There are wheels within wheels of competition that shape what results you see in search rankings. And will Google buy Yahoo along with all its other purchases?

Google Places (Maps) update for businesses

Bring in paying customersI just thought I’d warn you about something that at first may seem like a scam but it would be really useful to take advantage of. Google may call you about taking some pictures of the inside of your business for free.

This is an expansion of a program Google started promoting in May. Like they did with Street View, Google will likely start in the bigger cities and work their way to the more rural areas.

Why is this useful? Images will only bring in more interested customers who are ready to buy, since they’ve already seen something they like in the pictures and were motivated to come in.

The best part is that you don’t need to wait on Google to do this. You can take pictures yourself and freely post them to your own listing – though you are limited to ten pictures in the listing itself and one should probably be your logo. (Other Google accounts can be used to upload more photos for you.)

And you don’t need to be a business with a storefront to take advantage of this. Construction trades and artists can post pictures of finished work, for example. Pictures can only help no matter what industry you’re in.

If you don’t have a Google Places listing for your business and you’d like to, let us know and we’ll help get you set up for a reasonable fee. This is also a good time to get more pictures up on your website and we can help you with this, as well.

Is Google Crooked?

Google has been accused of lots of things. Lately, it was steering search results to favor their own properties.

Honestly, when you go to a store you don’t expect the store owner to praise the competitor’s products, do you? If you need something that the store doesn’t carry, then they might send you to the competitor just to make you happy.

That’s not so difficult to accept. That’s why you shop around before you buy. Google’s no more and no less crooked than anyone else.

Google Improvements

Google bought Zagat, the restaurant rating website, to help bolster its local presence.

Google has hundreds of possible acquisitions. One interesting choice in the works is Katango; which is an automatic friend sorter. As a matter of fact, Google did buy Motorola. So Google is trying to improve the services it provides by adding features, some of them for a fee.

That’s why Google is making more money than Facebook and Yahoo. Combined.

And to put that in perspective, Facebook is still making big money.