You’ve likely seen Plus-Boxes in Google search results. They are little boxes which sometimes appear below a search result listing, and when clicked they expand the listing, allowing more info to be displayed, such as a small map or a stock chart.
For many webmasters, the question of whether a Map Plus-Box appears for a page about a location, such as for local businesses, appears to be decided very arbitrarily. Some pages with local addresses on them have the Plus-Box treatment occur, while others do not.
There are a few ways to increase the chances that Google will be able to successfully interpret the location information appearing on a webpage, so that they can pinpoint it on a map. If their algorithm isn’t highly confident that text appearing on a page is for an address, or if they’re unsure of an address’s map location equivalent, then the Map Plus-Box doesn’t happen.
One easy way to increase the odds is to include a Google Map on the page! As you may know, you can pull up a map in Google Maps, pan it and zoom in to center the map over a desired location, and then click the “Link” hyperlink over the righthand side of the map, and it will allow you to copy the HTML to embed in a website. If you embed that code in your webpage, it makes it really easy for Google to extract the geocoordinate values (longitude and latitude) so that they can generate the map to display with the page’s listing in the SERPs.
Interestingly, Google also applies this treatment to some other map services which they successfully parse — such as for Bing Maps! So, this is one case where Google is nicely agnostic, opting to apply uniform treatment for listings regardless of the map provider.
So, add a map to your webpage to improve your chances of getting the Map Plus-Box treatment! It’s likely that this little enhancement helps make listings stand out from the crowd, take up a smidgeon more room in the SERP, increase the chances that the listing will get clicked upon more than other plain-vanilla listings.
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