Get Popular On Google Maps
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?
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)