What are Google Local Map Citations To Improve SEO & Google Maps representation? Are they the hidden secrets for marketing your local business online too? What if you can get “Business Citations” directly from the ones that ranks local businesses – Google Maps?
What are Google Local Map Citations
First it was 2006, a monument in the shape of a Google Map Pin, six meters tall, made from a wooden frame with a red canvas draped over it & an iconic ‘A’ was literally put on the map in Berlin. It took another 14 years, in 2020, for the pin icon to become the official logo of Google Maps.
The artist (Aram Bartholl) believed his “symbol” gave the meaning of the “center” of a city, showing the lack of boundaries, and other issues related to maps. It was his way to debate the digital world versus physical world. So he decided to bring these digital elements into the real, three-dimensional world. Placing 3 of these symbols (6 meters / 19.6 foot tall) Google Maps Pins in Berlin, Taipei and Szczecin, Poland.
- What are Google Map Local Citations? And how to use them?
- Why this is beneficial to your local SEO?
- Google Maps Application’s Story
- Use of Google Maps by Google
- Google Local Guides (Local Guides) and Local Guides Connect programs
1. What are Google Map Local Citations? And how to use them?
The “local” part refers to information about the address or region of your business.
The “citation” section mentions your business or brand on other sites, including sites that do not connect back to you – online.
If you are a local business, you need to know how to make local citations work for you. Let’s take a look at what are Google Local Map Citations & why local citations are essential and the best ways to incorporate them into your marketing campaigns.
Best practices for local citations
Luckily for us, it’s easy to build local citations or “quotes”. Each one only takes a few minutes, and all the best citations’ services are free (see examples below).
Here are the information or information combos that are essential for local citations / quotes (each has the same SEO driven format):
- Company name
- Company name & phone number
- Company name, phone number, & address
- Company name, phone number, address, & website
- Company name, & website
- Company phone number
USE SEARCH ENGINES FIRST
If you have not started building local quotes yet, now is the time to jump!
First, add your business information to Google My Business, Bing Places & Yahoo Business. This will give you a great starting position on the three most used search engines in the world.
You can also check out other global search portals like DuckDuckGo, MyTime, Adzuna… you get the idea.
There’s potentially 30,000+ RANKING SEO links that will help your business today!
LIST THE INFORMATION RELATING TO YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION ON YOUR ONLINE Portal Descriptions & WEBSITE
The address information includes name, address, and phone number, which a person needs to become a customer.
The advantage is that search engines like Google can always see up-to-date information on who, what, where & when about your business, so being consistent across all platforms is a must.
There is nothing better you can do to make a customer’s conversion easier! Everything is “Dress-right-dress” “Stare and compare, info matches”!
Subscribe or Join Online Review Sites (LEAVE FEEDBACK to ALL PURCHASES)
Review sites like Amazon & Yelp are the beating heart of specific industries, especially books (& everything) & restaurants, respectively. But even if you run a service business (plumbing, electrical, etc.), you can still take advantage of online review sites. Submit citations/feedback to every product you purchase (get specific to your niche if you can). Be responsive to comments, questions, and concerns – being elaborate in every exchange if possible.
These sites are beneficial because they require your business name, phone number, website and location information to address host reviews. This is the best way to identify your business, especially if you share a name with another business in a different city.
It’s almost always a coincidence, but it happens more often than you might think.
In addition to Amazon & Yelp, you can also use these other top business review sites to give you local quotes.
|Google My Business||any business|
|Yahoo Business||any business|
|Trip Advisor||related to food, restaurant, travel|
|BBB (Better Business Bureau)||any business|
|Angies List||service related business|
|Foursquare||any business, mostly restaurants|
Google and other search engines read these quotes, and they will help you get your customers to find you virtually anywhere on the Internet.
Use Social Media Citations
All the major social networks allow you to open a professional account and list the information relating to your address. Again, it’s free, and it allows you to be present on some of the most used websites in the world.
Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn love commenting! Same as your FEEDBACK profiles above, be active respond back to questions, comments, and concerns. Post in moderation. Videos on these platform are also very effective.
You can also use them all for your marketing. This gives you a different local citation for each social network and the ability to reach your audience through multiple channels.
With all of this, you can potentially double or triple the number of local citations you have by just spending an hour or so on social media.
Again, Google and other search engines read these quotes and it all plays a part in their search algorithms, in turn every comment helps you get ANOTHER “check-mark” in their eyes of legitimacy over most.
What are Google Local Map Citations – no cost, just your time!
Build A Contact Page
Every website needs a contact page. It will even help you gain more conversions.
This page should be devoted exclusively to telling customers how they can contact you.
You can include a form field (newsletter) that allows customers to email you, along with information about your location, logo, and other brands.
This page is generally easy to create, and website creation platform such as WordPress, Wix, FreeWeb come integrated with “Splash Pages”, “Capture Pages” etc. built with little modification needed to input your business contact information. No website? For a quick solution, we recommend this page should be located on a HIGH Domain Authority site – Facebook, Twitter, etc. are good. Make sure you include as much of your business name and/or site address for the page representing you. example: https://www-EXAMPLE-com/TalkPConsole
2. Why this is beneficial to your local SEO
Local citations are an essential part of Google, Bing & Yahoo’s algorithm (and many other search platforms, for that matter).
Listing your business through Local Citations helps your business create authority, verify & establish trust, and will improve your business’ ability to rank in local search results.
This will help you get Local business citations directly inside Google Maps and surely get into the Google 3 pack (map listing) to increase your business visibility.
✓The domain authority of Google Maps itself is a powerful backlink to your website.
✓Your citations will blow, any of your competitors free or paid directory citation listing out of the water.
✓These Business Citations also act like reviews, and help boost your local business authority.
✓Targeted keywords in the review will increase your keyword relevance and authority
The more citations or mentions of your business on the web, the more authority your business appears to Google, Bing, Yahoo and others alike, and it helps to verify and establish trust to your business and local search rankings. If you do not have one, then these search engines and others probably don’t know much about your business.
Citations show that your business is reputable enough to be discussed online, and they help search engines understand where you are physically located, what you do, and more. Don’t forget ACTIVE! By the nature of the citation / quote / feedback given, establishes you’re doing business right now!
These citations then have an impact on the SEO capabilities of your site.
If you have many local quotes, it is easier for Google, Bing & Yahoo to know specific information about your business. This also gives them them confidence about the information from these local citations, and in turn ensures the search engines display your business listing when someone performs a search for the products and/or services your provide.
Building local quotes can give you a head start over your competition, if you want to pull ahead and make it easier for customers to find you, put citations on a few different sites. What are Google Local Map Citations? How does being cited over 30,000 times sound?
Where to start with local citations?
As shown with the examples above, showing people your business is open, showcasing your hours of operation, phone number, and directions on Google and Maps search, and with Google my Business is an easy thing to do.
Search engines find citations in several ways. The most popular way is to browse websites that specifically host them. These include sites such as Google My Business, Yahoo Business, Bing, Facebook, Yellowpages, Yelp, MapQuest, etc.
All these sites allow you to display your business and its location.
That is why most SEO agencies recommend that you start with Google My Business. Get the big search engine completed now.
Other search engines also have their free SEO “My Business” site portals. Amazon Associates, Bing Places, to name a few service for local citations. They’re free, just like Google’s, and it’s a great way to get listed on the world’s first ecom platform & second-largest search engine.
Other local citation possibilities include Yext, Foursquare, and many more.
3. Google Maps Application’s Story
Google maps all started with a company called Where-2 Technologies in Sydney, Australia in 2004. They had a mapping technology application (same concept) called Expedition, you would have to download and installing it was a fairly simple process, but that was a NO-GO for Google it needed to be “web-based”.
The company Where-2 became Google’s 2nd acquisition, and their team became Google employees and free amazing web platform Google Maps was officially launched in early February 2005.
Initially, Google Maps would support only Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox users, but support for Opera and Safari was added on February 25, 2005. The software was in its beta phase for six months before becoming part of Google Local on October 6, 2005.
With the introduction of search tools and movement on the map, interest has grown in satellite imagery, both for research and personal purposes.
Along with the uses, sites have been created to create the database of places known and seen from space, such as stadiums, old buildings, etc.
Another use that is being given to the service is the exchange of photos (such as Flickr).
In support of the website, Google launched Google Earth to allow more personalized use of the maps, making it possible to place street names on the maps without losing the information.
Using the core of the images stored by Google, many tools can customize the location icons, know the exact position on Earth, and even customize the images within the Google Maps interface. Some of the Google Maps “Hacks” are like the Craigslist rental tool, Seattle 911 calls, or Chicago crime data.
In June 2005, Google released its Google Maps API, making almost every aspect of the original interface officially modifiable. With the official developer password, the API is free to use for any website.
4. Use of Google Maps by Google
Google integrates Google Maps views (in a smaller image) in local searches. They can be searched for a certain business type in any geographic area, where Google Local is available.
Google Ride Finder
Google experimentally launched a tool based on Google Maps called Ride Finder, which is based on the permanent location of taxis and limousines through the use of GPS. The tool displays all permitted vehicles’ current locations from participating services in major US cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, on a Google Maps map.
Google Maps Business View
Originally called Business Photos, this service began its journey in April 2010 within a selection of cities in the United States. Since then, Google Maps Business View has expanded to 27 different countries.
Google runs the program, but the photographs are taken by specially certified photographers (called Google Trust Photographers). The areas that currently have this program are United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong,
Photographers can take up to 200 panoramic photos per business. Google has a website where interested businesses can get more information.
July 20 of 2005, and in honor of the 36th anniversary of the moon landing and, later, moonwalk of the Apollo 11, Google made public the use of images from NASA about lunar geography, being integrated interface Google Maps. However, certain utilities have been disabled.
- Apollo: expandable map with the markings of the landing points of all the Apollo missions on the Moon.
- Visible: an expandable map that shows the lunar surface, thanks to the union of the Clementine mission’s images.
- Elevation: color height map, showing the depth and altitude of the lunar relief.
- Charts: images of other previous maps about each area.
Google Mars provides satellite images of Mars, like Google Moon, but also displays infrared images and images of Mars’ relief (elevation). Users can operate the elevation, visible, and infrared data buttons, similar to switching between map, satellite, and Google Maps hybrid modes. This project is a collaboration between scientists from NASA and the University of Arizona. To do this, Google has used public data collected from two NASA missions to Mars, the Mars Global Surveyor, and Mars Odyssey.
Recently, Google has incorporated an experimental service in Google Maps to know the traffic state in real-time. This pilot is in the testing phase in the United States.
This application allows you to send an address from Google Maps directly to the vehicle’s navigation or GPS without typing it in it.
Google Local Guides and Local Guides Connect programs
Google making efforts to democratize the Google Maps platform and then, after several attacks on the Platform from Google Map Maker, presents the Google Local Guides Program, under the slogan of sharing your world on Google Maps to help other users find the best local venues and rewarding users with exclusive benefits.
Following the launch of Google Local Guides in 2016, it launched local guides connect; local Guides Connect is an online forum where you can meet other Local Guides, share your discoveries, stay up-to-date on the latest products much more.
Meet UP program
From the Google platform, Local Guides, its members can organize meetings with other members or Google Guides to democratize the Google Maps platform; its main objective is to contribute to the correct use of Maps and to contribute to the places on Google Maps, creating new locations or correcting data for existing locations.
Use of Google Maps for mass surveillance
In January 2014, top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the US intelligence agencies NSA and the British GCHQ massively intercept Google Maps queries made from smartphones, in addition to the user’s geographical position. The document, dated 2008, stated that “anyone who uses Google Maps on a smartphone is helping to develop GCHQ’s mass surveillance systems.”
In 2019, various voices spoke about the low monetization of this Google service.
There are several mashups (hybrid web applications) that combine data from Google Maps with data from other sources:
New Google Maps
At Google I / O 2019, Google presented a redesign of Google Maps for the Web version, showing new features such as:
- The map fills the entire screen.
- The search bar is in the upper left and can display location information.
- There is a ground mode that is a combination between satellite view and Google Earth, where we can see the cities in 3D, and by zooming out, we can see the Earth in 3D.
- Clicking on a place shows us reviews, photos, phone numbers, and seeing the building in Street View.
- By using directions, we can see several routes and change them, in addition to being able to see the ways by plane and book flights.