Does Google Places know where you are?

If you’ve got a bricks-and-mortar business, you probably rely on Google Places for giving potential customers the right directions to your business.

After all, Google Maps is a part of the conglomeration, and your business is on the map, right? We’ve been checking the addresses of some of our clients lately and have found a large problem with this system.

There’s an incredibly long highway in Australia called Princes Highway. Depending on the community you’re in, this highway will likely have another name. It’s the same road, but cities have taken to naming their stretch of the road with their own names.

The result is that Google is getting confused between two or more different addresses being applied to the same business building.

The problem is that the system is broken up into parts. Google Maps shows the exact geographical area you’re searching. Google Business is a listing of your hours, address, phone numbers and other business information. Google Places is a compilation of the two. The problem is arising when businesses are listed differently in two of these parts of the system.

Some of our clients were getting absolutely no results from Google Places but when we fixed the differences their foot traffic rose tremendously. It all comes down to Google reading the address correctly.

Take a look at the address you have on Google Maps, and compare it to the address on your listing at Google Business. Something as small as a misplaced comma, an added dash, or even a plus sign can throw Google off and send it miles in the wrong direction. Make both listings match and you’ll get much better results.

And this isn’t just an Australian problem. It affects every business that’s trying to lead potential customers to their address, everywhere in the world.

Fix your address and you’ll see better results from your Google Places listing.

For more information, visit the StewArt Media website.

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business  StewArt Media  has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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