If you’re a business owner even slightly aware of your online local business presence, you have noticed some changes in the local world over these last few months. Not all of these changes are for the better (I’m squarely looking at you Google). I want to talk briefly about what these changes could mean in the next few months.
Google – Let’s get the big one out of the way first. A few months ago Google made the change from its Google Places platform, a platform we all knew and …well we knew it. They started migrating thousands and thousands of businesses to the new Google Plus Local platform. To Google’s credit, most made the transition smoothly, with the accurate description, NAP (name, address, and phone number), and photos making the switch. Getting to the profile isn’t as easy as it used to be, however. It isn’t a matter of clicking on the teardrop and seeing all of the business info. Now, once you click on the teardrop, you are taken to the maps page. When you click on the listing on the map, and ask for more info, then you are taken to the new Google Plus Local page for the business.
That’s if your business made the cut. Since the transition, hundreds of business owners have flooded the forums and help blogs looking for a solution. The switch has left these businesses in the cold, with the dreaded message “We Currently Do Not Support This Location.” If you see this message, your options are limited, and response from Google’s “Help Team” has been vague at best. We have run into this issue a few times already, and after two months of trying different strategies, attempting to contact sources that could help, and just plain waiting; it seems that waiting is going to be the way to go.
The problem is that Google bit off a bit more than it could chew, trying to migrate every business with an established local listing to the new platform. We are hoping that the issue will be resolved soon, and we hope to be posting about how to claim and update your Google Plus local listing in no time.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and this lining comes courtesy of Yahoo and Bing. While combined, neither has the traffic that Google boasts. But both have revamped their local listing platforms to be more user friendly. It’s easier than ever for business owners to find and claim their listings, especially with Yahoo. While these offer little consolation to a company that has disappeared from Google’s local results, I encourage business owners to continue finding directories and submitting their business to them. There are plenty of sites like Yelp, Insider Pages, and Merchant Circle that will accept your business and send local signals to search engines when an inquiry is entered. In the meantime, while Google is figuring out a way to sort out all of its local issues, continue to find new ways to get your business out there.
Evolving Interactive offers local optimization services for small and medium businesses. Our analysts work closely with businesses to develop their online business across a range of local business directories and aggregaters. If you’re interested in learning more about local optimization for your business, call Evolving Interactive today.