Tweet Miriam Ellis has a great piece over on Search Engine Guide about how the new Google Place “integrated” Listings (I called them A+ Listings) could cause problems for businesses with multi-city service areas:
One potential negative…I have clients who are ranking excellently in both the old 7 Pack and organic results for their main service term and the city in which they are located. Maps/Places has been built around the premise that each business is allowed to rank only for the city in which it is physically located. That’s Google’s take on what a local business is, but in the real world, there are countless businesses that offer go-to-client services in a wide area. For example, I have a client who is a mobile notary public. Let’s say she is located in San Francisco, but she also renders services in Berkeley, Oakland and Richmond.
Historically, the way we have worked with Google’s definition is to create a Google Place Page for a client like this notary in her main city – let’s say that’s San Francisco. Then, harnessing the power of her website, we have created strong content pages for each of the other cities in which she serves. The result of this has been excellent organic rankings for all major points in her service area, backing up her high local rank for her city of location.
But what happens now? Will the new integrated local SERPs push my client’s high ranking service area web pages off page 1?
It was already extremely challenging for a business to rank in GOOG maps outside of its location city. Now it looks as if that’s going to be the case for Web results as well.