Local SEO 101: Step One, Claim Your Listing In Google Maps

by Chris Silver Smith

I posted an ultra-basic Local SEO tip over at SEM Clubhouse today, “How To Rank Well In Google Maps – One Easy Tip“. This one is so basic that it nearly goes without saying!

Google Local Business Center

However, I think many people may not have realized that CLAIMING your business actually is a major ranking signal for Google Maps, and automatically gives a listing a leg up over many unclaimed listings in the same category/area combination. Google employees have actually publicly verified that this is a ranking factor! There are very few instances where they’ll say that some factor is influential on rankings, so this is not to be ignored.

Stay tuned for more “Local SEO 101” tutorials.


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6 Responses to “Local SEO 101: Step One, Claim Your Listing In Google Maps”

  1. Chris, do you know of any official channel where Google has “actually publicly verified that this is a ranking factor” such as Google Maps blog, etc. or has it just been mentioned at SEO conferences, hallway conversations, etc with Google officials?

  2. Silver says:

    Offhand I don’t know of official PR that states this. However, they say it implicitly, since they state that having high confidence in a listing’s veracity is important to them, and one prime means of verifying listing data for them is for owners to claim their listings.

    Their help pages state: “Your listing’s placement in search results will vary, but in the long run, having a correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date listing is the most effective way to ensure the best possible ranking.”

    Other indicators include the fact that only claimed listings receive other special treatment such as the barcode decals, and claimed listings are more likely to achieve landmark icon status (Google sometimes calls these “gray icons”) as they state in the LBC help pages.

  3. […] for achieving landmark icon status would continue to apply. I think it can also be helpful to claim your business within Google Places (which was previously called “Google Local Business Center”), although this must not be […]

  4. […] I’ve previously noted that claiming your business in Google Places is beneficial, I have found some instances of unclaimed business places in these new results pages […]

  5. […] Similar to optimizing your citations in major online directories, you should do the same thing for your listing in Yahoo! Local, Bing Maps, and Google Places. Claiming your business in Google gives them higher confidence in the content and lets them know that the business is active. Enhancing your Places page with more info and content about you increases your opportunities to persuade potential customers to come to your store. Best of all, merely claiming your Google Places page may be a ranking factor. […]

  6. Jim says:

    Citations seem to take a long time to get picked up by google and reflected on your goodle places listing. Anyone else experienceing this?