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Hanging Out With LionsBrave man hanging out with lions on a Zebra striped car in South Africa. Google Maps, Google Places, Google+ For Business… Help Me Understand These Local Search Products!
Top milestone events in the history of Google local search (click to view timeline infographic). Once your listing is live and complete, regularly log in to your Google Places for Business account to monitor your profile’s performance via insights and analytics provided by the dashboard.
Currently, Google has it set up so that every managed business listing comes with a linked local Google+ Page. Read the latest stories, get FS Local updates and find out what's happening with the #supportlocal movement each month. On July 24th, 2014 there was a major shake up in the Google Local Places listings on the first page of Google Search results. As with any Google Algorithm update, it is going to take time for the Google Local Places search algorithm to take full effect. As many have predicted, domain authority is now a major factor in the Google Local search results.
Casey Meraz pointed out that DUI lawyers have now all but disappeared from the Google Local Places search results.
The just is still out on this but it stands to reason that if the algorithm triggers the knowledge graph a business, brand or company likely has many mentions across the web.
While Wojdylo Social Media is not that large, it is definitely mentioned across the web quite a bit. Many attorneys are looking at social marketing, and social media to try and rank their sites.
In a way, Circle of Legal Trust saved a lot of lawyers by helping them understand Penguin and Panda.
Of course, if you are willing to deal with click fraud, the Herculean task of disputing fraudulent clicks, and click bid scores that only a few very wealthy brands could ever really afford, then you don’t need to read further.
Facebook has taken quite a few leaps in getting attention from business owners through its advertisement and marketing campaigns. Some local search experts might like the idea that Google is apparently going to make some more money from the local listings, but it will give just as much benefit to the business owners and people relying on Google for searching businesses locally. This is going to allow Google users to get services from businesses like home tradespeople and probably later, other location based services such as doctors and lawyers, by simply performing a search on Google and getting local results for qualified professionals as it does now, except now there will be background checks, mystery spy shoppers to test your business to see if its real, and a few other ranking signals, probably like Yelp!
As of now, Google has tested this particular service in San Francisco Bay area where Google showed pre-qualified listings for only locksmiths and plumbers in the area.
People looking for these individuals for services can place requests for services right from the search page. The businesses whose individuals will be shown in the ads are also going through a strict check which is being performed by a third party. The program is going to include the highly ranked individuals in the ads but those who get bad rating will be thrown out of those ads or the program entirely. We must admire Google for its efforts that it puts in to make the search experience not only friendly for users but benefiting for businesses as well. Most firms that litigate, or do trials may be doing what lawyers do when the mystery shopper shows up at the office, or the Pinkerton investigator checks them out. In fact, personal injury attorneys are notorious for going to the home, office or hospital of victims, or even meeting the potential new client at the accident scene. For the most part, litigators are constantly in depositions, trial, court hearing and mediations, among the many tasks lawyers perform daily. We know the new changes that Google has made to its Google Cards where users are readily able to see information about businesses and a lot of stuff on the go, based on their locations.
Google Hit by Porn Companies with Thousands of Takedown NoticesBy Michael Ehline: Many personal injury attorneys online have been going through this.
Enter your email address to subscribe to Learn How to get the Best Ready-To-Buy Internet Leads for your business and receive new posts by email. The combination of the #1 and #2 spots on page one of local Google search listings gives our clients 60% of the click throughs from local search to their website.  In addition to the 60% click through rate many shoppers just call our clients directly from the their Google listing without even going to their website. The reason for this client exclusivity is that we want to give each one of our clients the full value of our efforts and expertise. Call us at 707-928-0400 or us the contact form below to find out how your business can dominate the local organic Google search results with over 60% of the leads from those searches. Serving Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma County, Napa Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, California and the U.S. Suspended 192 metres high is the 1.2 metre wide ledge that circles the widest part of Aucklanda€™s Sky Tower. If so, then your online marketing strategy probably revolves around one main goal: to be found on Google by potential customers in your local service area.
It has been ten years since the tech giant first entered local search with the 2004 release of their Google Local search engine. Specifically, I will be identifying Google’s core local search products, grouped by product type. Targeted local consumers searching for nearby business information, maps and driving directions.
Google Local was released as a specialized Internet search engine, where users were allowed to submit geographically constrained search queries (i.e. Prior to Google Local, location-based data seekers could only depend on the limited information provided by traditional sources such as the Yellow Pages. Targeted local consumers wanting quick and easy access to vital information about nearby top businesses (e.g. When Universal Search launched in May 2007, blended local results came in the form of a classic Local OneBox. The introduction of local blending meant businesses wishing to be found on Google could no longer rely solely on ranking well in natural search.
Targeted local consumers wishing to find information about a particular local business, with all data conveniently housed in a one-page format.
Google launched the Place Page for Google Maps as part of their mission to create a webpage for every place in the world, with all relevant information about the place organized within that one-pager.

Businesses striving to be found on Google had to understand the importance of local directory listings.
Targeted local businesses wishing to manage and control the information on their directory listing pages as they appeared in Google Maps, Web Search or Google+. Local Business Center (LBC) first launched in March 2005 as a free business tool, but it wasn’t until June 2009 before Google opened the doors to their LBC dashboard.
Allowing businesses to log in, make direct changes, monitor performance and engage customers via a free business dashboard tool was a huge step in the advancement of local search! You’ve successfully made your way through a crash course in Google Local Search History 101.
Keep it active by regularly logging in to your Google Plus account and following other community members, engaging with potential customers, posting status updates about upcoming events, and submitting the latest photos and videos about your business.
She supports buying handmade and enjoys befriending fellow local artisans at the Toronto Bead Fair, Creativ Festival, and One of a Kind Show.
As of July 25th, 2014 I have noticed most major cities are seeing significantly different Google Local rankings than just yesterday.
In fact, a large percentage of business, customers and clients comes from those top two or three search results. Unfortunately, some have found that they no longer have a stronghold on that particular keyword phrase. A natural link is a link to one of your resources because the person that found that resource wants to reference it for their audience. The more brand mentions, the better it is for the overall SEO and search value of that particular website. We already saw many injury lawyers reconsider whether local search is worth investing in at all since the introduction of the 3 pack.
While fun, and possibly time wasting, social media does not appear to have any direct result on ranking a legal website like it once did when DIGG front page shares could blast a site to the top of page one on Google.
In other words, it appears that the days of a new attorney putting out a shingle and ranking online, at least on Google, will soon be at an end. While Google might not have given any competition to Facebook with its social network, namely Google+, it will definitely not let Facebook take away the admirations of the paying business owners that easily. The new service is the pre-qualified ads that are appearing on top of Google’s search results for businesses that more specifically provide in-home services. These results were shown on top of the organic search results and Google has made them pretty noticeable. The reliability of the individuals shown in the results is definitely going to be a big matter for people searching for them on Google. The name of the company performing checks on the companies is Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations.
From these ads it is clear that Google has realized the power of its local listings over organic searches.
The bottom line is that litigation attorneys are not like supermarkets, or even locksmiths. Of course Google would say that is the model for a “service area” business, so you should be ok right? Transactional attorneys could stand to win big, assuming they are in the office when the mystery shopper show up and they pass the initial local paid test.
People now believe that Google knows where they are at any given time, and so they expect Google to give them results that are most relevant and benefiting for them according to their locations whenever they perform a search. Giant KIller?Lawyers are at Particular Risk To Get Nailed for Lifting ImagesTo Hire an Employee for the Law Firm OR Not? In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. But that would be just the first of many local search products released by Google over the years. Only free tools and organic search solutions for businesses will be covered, with PPC ads and other paid search topics excluded from this post. By drawing from a greater diversity and wider array of online resources, Google’s combined local search engine and mapping technology provided users with a more relevant, satisfying and informative geographically focused search experience. Images, Video, News, Maps or Blog Search) in order to access the best matched results to their specialized keyword queries. This box appeared in Google search results with a map image, basic contact information and related links for three top nearby businesses.
The introduction of blended Local OneBox 3-, 10- or 7-Packs meant regular organic results were likely pushed further down the page.
This webpage functioned as a local business listing for the search company’s Google Maps directory. For one thing, your Place Page or Google+ Page functioned as a great resource guide for potential customers wishing to learn more about your business (and some might even wish to engage with your business!). In April 2010, the Local Business Center dashboard was no more, and it became known as Google Places.
By enabling businesses with the ability to add or edit their listings whenever they liked, business owners could rest assured knowing only accurate, useful, up-to-date information about their company could be found online. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, real estate agents and other service professionals benefit greatly from the Google Local Places search result as it is prominently displayed on page one for heavily searched local keyword phrases.
There are a few commonalities that I have noticed and I will highlight them for you so you can better understand how you can rank higher or why you might have been penalized.
I do not tract DUI lawyers as much as Family Law, Personal Injury and Divorce Attorneys but I find it interesting that one specific vertical of the legal industry has been pulled while others remain. It stands to reason that it will take time for these types of links to accumulate into a quality portfolio.
If you are a business that wants to stay ahead of the competition it is best to get active on Google Plus and start to receive brand mentions across many web entities like Amazon, Yelp, message boards and social networks.
If you are looking to grow your customer or client base I would strongly suggest employing someone that truly understands both SEO and branding. But now, we are seeing whole areas in small geos being tested for an all paid for local search in Google. One thing is sure, Circle of Legal Trust would not have been formed if not but for the rapid and devastating algorithm changes of April 2012 that put many internet based companies, some good, some evil, out of business. Some argue that it was inevitable that once it went public, Google would have to eliminate, or all but make ranking online impossible.
Google has gone hyper local with a new campaign that is definitely going to have a huge impact on Google’s local searches, your pocketbook,  and people’s expectations from the search engine giant if this new service becomes successful. As of now, Google has tested this service by providing ads only for plumbers and locksmiths. In a nutshell, basically it appears the three pack will use the same ranking signals we have all worked so hard to get and pay for, but on top of that the staff will need to be trained to deal with paid shoppers (mystery shoppers), and the law firm will need to pay Google to subject itself to a background check and hope its firm fits into Google’s business model for how a law practice should be set up and run.

The three results were accommodated within a box in which you could see not only the phone numbers of individuals but their pictures, ratings and names of companies they are working for.
Google has stated its words by saying that it is making these individuals go through thorough screening process before posting their ads on its search pages. Google has also pointed out the fact that it is taking ratings of these professionals from the people who have had the chance of taking their services in the past. Google is quite scary for businesses when it runs several algorithm changes and names those updates with cute animals because those algorithm changes can throw businesses out of search rankings.
The problem for most attorneys, is fitting into Google’s idea of a storefront business that allows walk ins any time of the day. With few exceptions, we are the ones who need to interview the potential new clients, not our paralegals, not our law clerks, we sworn attorneys. The problem with a service area business is that in the real world these are not service area businesses. I personally don’t know of a single lawyer who does not see clients by appointment only. Questioning practices and seeking solutions to the complexities of Organic, Social and Local Search for Attorneys and Law Firms. This dedicated local search engine later merged with Google Maps, the company’s web mapping service application. A marriage of the two took place in October 2005, with the combined product rebranded under the Google Maps name in April 2006. With Universal Search, highlights from those dedicated search properties were blended together and served to users in a single, easy-to-digest page format. In January 2008, the Local OneBox evolved into the 10-Pack, giving ten lucky local businesses greater visibility outside of Google’s regular organic search results.
So if a business failed to appear in a local pack, that meant up to ten of its competitors were reaping the benefits of greater search visibility instead. Users could expect to find rich business details such as photos, videos, reviews and related website links. In addition, having a verified and correctly filled out listing (according to Google’s best practices) could positively impact your ability to rank in Google search results.
One last rebranding effort later led to the Google Places for Business dashboard as it exists today. For much more on the domain authority value for Google Local search please use the resource linked above. By creating amazing content that receives natural references and link backs you won’t have to worry about a Google algorithm adjust again. If you do not have a quality link portfolio and your website does not rank well in Google search there is a good chance you will not stay in the A or B spot for long.
In any event, those few who remained and the newbees sure to follow will benefit greatly from what I am about to discuss. Of course, there are others like David Amerland, or Bill Slawski, who might argue that all these changes are being done to improve search. There is a “profile” option available with each ad in the box so you can click on it and see further details of the individual.
Among many things included in the screening process there is background check, online reputation measure, insurance, mystery shoppers’ feedback, interviews and licenses. In addition to that, Google is also using Mystery Shoppers in order to know the level of service and to keep a check on the quality of service provided by these individuals and companies. The guidelines that a lawyer must be able to receive customers during regular business hours is probably simply impossible. These are aggressive lawyers out hustling for cases who also meet clients at the law office when an appointment is set in advance to assure the lawyer will actually be there.
Will Google make an accommodation for attorneys and other professionals faced with a mystery shopper to allow face to face by appointment? The bottom line is that people don’t Google for a lawyer and stop by based upon their location. This marked the beginning of local blending within Google’s main Web Search results pages, with location-based data made available outside of Google Maps for the first time. This would later be replaced in October 2009 with the current 7-Pack version that exists today, favoured due to its cleaner and less cluttered design. When the search giant went social and launched their Google Plus social networking site, they introduced a separate community-based version of the Google Maps Place Page: the Google+ Local Page for businesses. Business owners could also manage past, present or future engagement opportunities with customers via the dashboard. It goes into great detail explaining how to improve domain authority and why natural SEO is so very important. This is no longer the case as domain authority and the website link portfolio seems to be much more important. I have several monthly packages as well as consulting opportunity that should assist you with your desire to rank higher in Google search.
The purpose of this piece is not to scare you, but to prepare you for more devastating and rapid changes in Google local search, and to prepare you to find other avenues of getting cases than online, or at least other than in organic or paid search.
It is not a service station and the vast majority of consumers know it, just like they know when they go to the emergency room to stop by, the doctor will probably be with patients.
The level of local blending would evolve over time, all in the name of providing the best local search experience for Google users.
Having researched this area of practice for quite some time, I can tell you that these three have been very strong in the organic search but almost nowhere to be found in the Google Local search, until the July 2014 update.
Even if the mentions are not extremely positive it is still a human being talking about that particular brand.
Businesses still needed them in order to be found on Google Maps or in Web Search results, much like they needed a Google+ Page in order to be found on the Google Plus social network. If you use natural SEO and get references from quality resources such as blogs, news outlets and websites in your industry you are going to improve search visibility. After much confusion and rebranding, Google now offers a hybrid local listing for businesses that combines the basic features of a Place Page with the social elements from a Google+ Page. In the meantime, look at Craigs List and other ways to prepare for the loss of business and website traffic sure to come to many firms whenever a new change is made to the Google algo.

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