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Google Places Changes – Third-Party Reviews and Citations Nixed

What Has Changed in Google Places?

The most evident change is that third-party reviews are no longer received the Google Places listing. Nevertheless, the listings still in many cases consist of web links to third-party regional search accounts.

The scariest adjustment for neighborhood SEOs is the elimination of citations at the bottom of the Places listing. Citations was the most convenient method for looking into possibilities to improve a position for a Google Places listing – in addition to track growth past basic stats.

The internet result is that Google Places listings are much simpler looking – which ought to equate into easier (and also hopefully broader) usage by customers.


The (Apparent) Impact on Search Engine Ranking

Preliminary survey of over 50 Google Places listings that we have taken care of for over 1 year show that the modifications have so far not affected internet search engine position within the Places system in any way. Either Google is still transitioning the changes when it come to positions – or the adjustments are totally aesthetic. We’ll continue to track this aspect – which is certainly the most crucial possible element of any kind of change in Google.

The Reasons for the Changes

Google seldom makes changes without great factor – despite the fact that they hardly ever publicize the reasons.

The general agreement is that the elimination of third-party reviews is most likely to decrease – if not remove – Google’s possible lawful obligation in regard to releasing third-party data that they can not effective handle. Simply Google “Yelp Lawsuits” and also you’ll get an eye-full detailing the legal liabilities of not managing reviews effectively.

The reason for eliminating citations is much less noticeable, yet our team believe it is partly pertaining to similar third-party responsibilities in addition to the fact that the citations seldom included anything to the formula when it pertained to evaluating the client experience. Citations served fairly actually as afterthoughts and therefore became expendable. NONETHELESS, it shows up rather noticeable that Google is still using citations as component of the ranking equation regardless of not advertising them in the Google Places listings.

Perhaps the most crucial factor for the adjustments is related to Google’s evident desire to keep site visitors from leaving Google where-ever possible. By eliminating both third-party review links as well as citations, Google essentially minimizes the possibility for site visitors to proceed investigating a business making use of sources apart from Google.

At the same time, the adjustments show up to make Google’s review system (and also possibly ultimately Google’s new social media sites endeavor – Google+) an also bigger gamer in neighborhood search dynamics.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In regards to reviews, it appears like Google is attempting to ensure that your Google Places detailing becomes yet another web link that businesses include in their core advertising and marketing strategies. Businesses currently detail their website, Facebook, Twitter and also a couple of periodic probabilities and ends. With the adjustment in the review process, it currently shows up that businesses may want to start detailing their Google Places listing also. Which asks the concerns – When will Google allow businesses to claim a vanity URL for their Places listing?

Luckily, the changes appear to be much more cosmetic than not. We’ll continue to track the effect of these adjustments because, fairly frankly, our source of income depends on it.

Paul Dumas is ‘The Internet Guy’ at Optimized Local Search Services, an Internet Marketing and also Website Design Firm based in Lewisville, TX serving local business, charitable organizations and municipalities throughout Denton County and the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex. Some services, consisting of the Local Business Listings Optimization as well as Website Design are offered throughout the United States.


First survey of over 50 Google Places listings that we have actually taken care of for over 1 year suggest that the adjustments have therefore far not impacted search engine ranking within the Places system at all. Either Google is still transitioning the changes with regards to rankings – or the adjustments are simply aesthetic. It shows up rather obvious that Google is still making use of citations as component of the ranking equation in spite of not publicizing them in the Google Places listings.

In terms of reviews, it looks like Google is trying to make certain that your Google Places providing ends up being yet one more link that businesses include in their core advertising methods. With the adjustment in the review process, it currently appears that businesses might desire to begin providing their Google Places listing.
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