Google Places is an extremely valuable tool for businesses, but if you do not keep your Google Places page up-to-date, it may end up having a negative effect on your company’s listing.  Spectrum properly maintains your Google Places page for you as part of your marketing services, but it’s important for you to understand the process and why it’s so critical to avoid having your listing “hijacked.” The following are some steps we take to maintain your Google Places listing and why this process is so important to your business:

1.    Verify Your Google Places Page:

Spectrum will verify any existing listings in Google or add a new listing if needed. New listings are usually only need for new/additional addresses for a business. Verifying your Google Places page is, by far, the most important aspect of your page. A new listing may need to be created or you may already have a Google Places page, but if the page is not verified, anyone can go in and change your details. Your phone number, company name, address, website and other details can be changed by any random person with a computer and an internet connection. Or in other words, your page can be hijacked. By verifying your Google Places page, you are the owner of that page, and only you can make the necessary edits to the page. The verification process is simple and can be done over the phone or through the mail. Please make sure you work with your Spectrum representative on receiving those calls or emails  Spectrum has already verified your Google Places page for you.

2.    What We Do After Verifying Your Site:

Since your site is verified, you have free reign with your Google Places page. Spectrum has made sure all of the miniscule details are perfect. We ensured that your phone number and address match everywhere throughout the web. By reinforcing your exact business details, search engines will better be able to find your business and thereby improve your rankings. Consistency is very important with search engine results. Photos, reviews, website address, hours and other details will also be added to your Google Places page. The more content that you have, the more likely you are to rank. There are also opportunities within Google Places to further enhance your listing, ‘tags’ and coupons, these can be added to help attract searchers.

After verification, Spectrum also works to increase the number of citations associated with your Google Places page. Citations are references to your business or website on other web properties such as the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Yelp, City Search, Yellow Pages, and many others. These citations reinforce the authority of your Places listing.

3.    What Happens with Duplicate Listings:

Companies may offer to create and verify your Google Places page using a directory service or automated submission. A directory service uploads a bulk list of companies to Google Places, which can potentially create a duplicate page of your business that is in direct competition with your existing page. Not fair, is it? If, and when this happens, there are two things that can be done.  Spectrum will attempt to claim this duplicate listing, which will merge it with the ‘real’ listing we already maintain. Secondly, we can inform Google of the duplicate listing and ask that they remove it. With this, it does not guarantee the listing is changed/removed, so claiming all listings that pop up is usually the first option. That’s why you verify your page with citations and reviews to let Google know that your Google Places page deserves to rank higher than a business page that was submitted by another company. If a company contacts you regarding your Google Places page and its verification, remember that you already have a verified Google Places page and any additional listing can be harmful to your Google Places visibility.

Your Google Places page is an important part of your site ranking in Google. It’s what customers are going to view through Google Maps, which has recently become much more prevalent in search. It’s just as important as your website. You know people are searching through Google and may be more inclined to simply click on a Google Places listing rather than a website so they can get the straight and to the point details. At Spectrum, we make sure that your business is verified and that your Google Places page is not hijacked so that your company can continue receiving high rankings in Google. If you have any questions about your Google Places page, your search marketing engineer at Spectrum is always available to discuss your marketing services.