Over the last few weeks, some computers in the law firm marketing company’s office have previewed Google’s merging of Google Places listings and search results. Today, they officially welcome the change.
Online PR News – 28-October-2010 – – Traditionally, Google has displayed the Google Places (previously Google Local) listings next to a map above the search results. The rankings of the Google Places listings were determined by comparative data from other region based business databases as well as quality reviews of the Google Places listing and the website associated with the listing, assuming one was included.
The change in the way Google displays the map first appeared on the personal laptop of a search engine optimizations specialist employed by SEOLawFirm.com’s parent company, Adviatech Corp., out of Tampa, Florida.
Immediately, other personnel studied it to make sense of the new display and one by one, other workstations in the Tampa office started displaying the new format. While this is not making legal news, it should because lawyer's search engine rankings are affected.
Results of Change
The Google Places listings are of particular interest to the legal marketing arm of Adviatech, as 90 percent of its clients focus on a metro area in their keywords. Over the last week, the company pulled reports for its clients to see how the merger had impacted their search engine rankings. The results were cause for celebration.
Prior to the change, Google Places displayed seven businesses next to the map between the top sponsored links and the start of the natural listings. Because of the comparatives between the Google Places listing and the websites associated with the listing, most websites that were listed high in the seven spots next to the map were also ranked on the first page of the search results under the map, doubling exposure for the business.
That has changed. For regional search queries, Google now displays the Google Map above the sidebar sponsored links then displays the website listing on the left with links to the Google Places profile. Then, they display five websites under the Google Places listings.
When running the reports, more than 80 percent of SEOLawFirm.com's law firm marketing clients experienced a ranking increase greater than two points as a result of the merger. The other 20 percent maintained a similar ranking or an increase of less than two. Nobody’s ranking went down.
Law firms who focused heavily on Google Places online and not so much website search engine optimization, their results were not so pleasant. More than half of the websites noted in Adviatech case studies from the month prior under the traditional Google Maps display that did not have websites connected to their Google Places listing are no longer listed on the search results page. However, they maintain a similar ranking to before the change when going directly to Google Maps to conduct a search.
Not all cities are displaying the same. Some Google Places listings not deemed by Google as more favorable than websites that do not have Google Places listings are listed below those results that are displayed No. 1, 2 and 3 as traditional web listings.
SEOLawFirm.com’s search engine optimization specialists will continue to closely monitor the change and keep their clients on the frontlines so that future changes also result in positive results for the law firms they work with.
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