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July 26, 2007

Get Popular On Google Maps

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Okay, this isn’t up-to-the-minute new but I just discovered it and I think it’s useful so I’m going to share it any way. Did you know that for select queries on Google Maps, Google is returning a list of popular searches near your mapped location?

See, look:


Pretty cool, eh?

I actually find features like this extremely useful. Let’s say I’m mapping out the location of my next business meeting. I like that Google is telling me where popular hotels, movie houses and grocery stores are. Yeah, I could map the location out and then do a separate search to find local business, but users will naturally gravitate towards these links because they’re (a) too lazy to do an additional search and (b) since the locations are tagged as "popular" users are more inclined to view them as testimonials or recommendations.

I’m curious as to how Google is automating this feature. In order for my [safeway] query to be "counted" does it have to be performed in Google Maps or can I do a search for Safeway in the main index? Is Google just that awesome at recognizing location-based searches? Can they send me daily emails with ideas for lunch?

Regardless of which one it is, if you’re not promoting your business in Google Maps, now is the time. Whether you’re a large company or a small mom and pop, start thinking locally; that’s where your users are. And if you can get them searching for you, you may be able to get yourself included on Google’s list of Cool Locations You Should Check Out. Fine, it’s not named that but it may as well be. Having Google associate your company where users are already planning to be? That’s pretty powerful branding. Heck, if everyone else is searching for you in Google Maps, I should be too, right?

Just some food for thought. Now please don’t mean down in the comments and tell me that this feature has been around for five years and I’m just now noticing. I’m sensitive. ;)

(Hat Tip Keri Morgret)

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3 responses to “Get Popular On Google Maps”

  1. Danny Howard writes:

    Hello,

    So, we can see why it would be nice to be a business that people search for in Google Maps . . . how would you then “promote your business” that way?

    -danny

  2. Keri Morgret writes:

    The very odd thing is that the business for which I was searching (Any Water Sports, a scuba store) is listed in Google Maps.
    When I search on the business name (Any Water Sports, San Jose, CA) the result shows four reviews for the store, location, and link to the store’s website.
    When I search for the exact address of the store, I get the “popular searches near this location”, but Any Water Sports or anything scuba/dive related is not included. None of the suggested business are particularly close to that location, some are miles away.
    The one way I can think of to promote your business is to hire some of the overseas WOW gold farmers to do lots of searches for your business name and hope for the best.

  3. Wicked Keemo writes:

    If Google are providing suggestions based on search frequency, then, in theory, wouldn’t an automated search bot looking for a specific company for target keywords make that company more likely to show up on the Google suggestions?…just thinking out loud :D



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