92 Responses to “Google Maps: Citations, Reviews, & User Content”

  1. Denise Keniston February 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    This is a great post! I have one question. You recommended bartering for reviews. In the example, Big Heart, you show us a screen shot of the their request for a review. Can you tell me where that links out to? Is it linking out to their Google Places Review Page? Thanks in advance for your help.
    /Users/denisekeniston/Documents/big heartt.tiff.

  2. Denise, you file doesn’t go anywhere. You have to be careful how you solicit for reviews. Some sites like Yelp aggressively dislike when a small business asks for reviews (it’s even against their terms). Review marketing is an art form and requires lots of thought and effort, but when executed right it can be really powerful.

  3. Google is always making a way in which they can expand their services for the comfort of it’s users. They are now leading in providing relevant information to users.
    But Google doesn’t stop there because they’re still up for more.
    Google is now creating the Google maps to widen it’s services. This Google maps will help users to locate a certain business establishment in a map. On the other hand, they are allowing businesses to be listed for free. So, this is a free advertising opportunity for the businesses while widening it’s services.

  4. Nice one, Matthew! I’ll pour over this list and then update my own…but doing a quick scan shows me that your list has more citations than my own….course, they’re US based….but hey, so are some of our clients, eh!



    PS just when I thought that I was going to have a soft weekend…..sigh…. :-)))

  5. HeyJim, I am sure we’ll do a similar list soon for the CND list too.

  6. I am surfing internet to get the core knowledge of Google Place Optimisation from last 10 days. I have tried many many articles, white papers and blog but cant found the rid of the process, but after reading your brilliant explanation with example filled me with confidence!

    Now, i can take guarantee of TOP 7 ranking in Google Place for my Client.

    Thanks You Very Much,

  7. Google’s robot is not as stupid as many people make it out to be. If you get 100 links in one day this will definitely red flag your site. The best way to do it is to gradually and consistently build links back to your site…

  8. yes you are 100% right. dripping reviews and citations and reviews is the best method to a successful local SEO plan.

  9. Wow… so you are just advising people to get themselves banned and sand-boxed by Google by spamming comments. Smart move

    Anyone following this advice is likely to get banned like the guy advocating the junk

  10. I love this post, Matthew!

    Say, what about some UK sources for reviews & citations?

  11. Hey Yam. Yeah I got do an update. On my list of things to do. I’ll have to get a list off Darren at Whitespark as he is the citations king.

  12. This a Great information, Thanks!!!

  13. I’ve been trying to find out what and how citation can be helpful to my current clients. Not that I don’t know anything I just want to make sure I’m on the right track. I’ve ticked the box subscribing to this blog. It would be good reading posts like this, very informative. thank you

  14. Citations are important for Google Places rankings.

  15. Hi Matthew,

    I just came across your article on Google…a lot of good information. One question that comes to my mind is what is the correlation between Google Places and Google Maps. If I already have Google Places set up and show constantly in position #3, do I get placed on Google Maps automatically, or is there a seperate process for that? Thank you. Norbert

  16. Norbert Google Places is Google Maps for small business listings. It used to be Google Maps, then google local business center, and now most recently this year it’s called Google Places and I think it will stay branded as that with Google. So no separate place to submit or claim your business.

  17. Thanks for taking the time to write the article. I’m halfway through your general citation list and to be honest its useless. You can’t add citations to any of these sites!

  18. great post…ive been working on my google places for months-how this gives me a boost, thanks

  19. Glad to hear it Mid Atlantic Movers.

  20. Is there a way to check how many citation you currently have?

  21. yes use Darren Shaw’s citation finder tool: http://www.whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder/

  22. i just came to read your article on google & imp for us ,,,,thanks for it buddy

  23. Matthew, killer info. I learned more about maps optimization by reading your article than all the last 5 idiots that tried to tell me they knew what they were talking about. I would love to know more about how you do it, and more importantly how you can do it for my customers. we have an SEO Company in Los Angeles , would live to hear from you.

  24. Thanks Blake. I’ll for sure give you a ding.

  25. Awesome article. I like the concept of negative reviews being good for business – it makes it much more realistic in some sense to have a good solid average 3-4 stars rather than all 5s.

    I stumbled on this article wondering if embedding google maps with the location of your business would help with google places listings on searches, but got a handful of other goodies from you. Thanks!

  26. Allan – great to hear got some new stuff about Google Places optimization.

  27. I tend not to leave a bunch of responses, but i did some searching and wound up here Google Maps Optimization – Google Places SEO. And I actually do have a few questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be simply me or does it look as if like a few of the comments appear like written by brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting at other places, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post. Would you make a list of every one of all your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  28. Is there a way for customers to leave anonymous reviews? Google now seems to be asking you to upgrade to google+ when you try to leave a review and then it states that your name will be published. As a lawyer, confidentiality is key for me. Clients will not leave reviews if their names are published along side. Thanks.

  29. Tushar, great question. Not really anymore with the new Google+ Local system. The review process will no longer allow for anonymous reviews. Here is what the review button notes:

    With Google+ Local, all your reviews and associated photos are visible to everyone on the web, under the name “business-name” (your Plus name). Your reviews and associated photos are displayed to:

    Anyone who views your profile on Google+
    Anyone who searches for places, if they’ve added you to their Google+ circles
    Anyone who views places you’ve reviewed

    And if you have left reviews in the past, Google now askes you to provide permission and actively migrate your old reviews if you want your previous anonymous reviews to show. Google will ask you if you want to do this the first time you write a review in Google+ Local. I assume you see some of your reviews disappear once people login for this (hopefully) it’s just the poor ones. :)

  30. Great post! I agree with your approach, however we’ve seen that reviews left on search engines hold limited value, since people don’t necessarily trust that the reviews are real, whereas on Facebook, people trust their friends and reviews are more meaningful.

    We’ve actually just launched a business application for Facebook called Good Peeple that uses the power of your customer’s social networks to share their reviews of your business with their friends, generating referrals automatically. Check it out at http://www.goodpeeple.com


  31. thanks for stopping by James, but this post is about Google Places marketing and not Facebook marketing.

  32. This post is really helpful to me especially that I’m still new to GPO..Thank you so much for this. This truly makes sense to me. Been diligently reading a lot of blogs about GPO and been sitting the whole day watching Youtube tutorials, but this post is the best. This feeds me with a lot of information. THANK YOU!

  33. Thanks for the information about Google. I’m new to SEO and website optimization so I am trying to learn all that I can. Is it true that 80% of the web’s traffic is searched through Google? I read that some time ago.

  34. @susie Smith Not sure on the exact numbers, but Google does get the majority of the search engine traffic, as for the entire web’s traffic…. Google only gets a fraction of it.

  35. This is a great list. I believe the other important thing is to remove all the bad, invalid listings and I try to maintain a document of all the contact emails where I can get all those incorrect (NAP) listings removed.

  36. Hi, I just submitted my new Google Place Listing. I hope to get positive results from this. Anyway thanks great article and List!

  37. Does anyone know how long will it take get site listed in dmoz.org? Is there a faster way to do it?

  38. who knows…?

  39. Matthew:

    Have any of your thoughts changed as of late with Citation Lists, etc as of mid-2013?

  40. Great post here and I cannot recommend more the importance of getting your NAP (name, address & phone number) 100% correct for citations as Google can be a real pain if you don’t get this right!

    Our Google + Local page was suspended for over 4 months this year due to a duplicate business listing and incorrect citations due to a change of business address and name which resulted in a real drop in local search. Google saw this as a violation of the guidelines but their G+ local team would not explain what we had done wrong!!

    Luckily this was lifted yesterday after spending 3 weeks in webmaster forums trying to get through to a Google employee and now we have started to collect customer reviews drip by drip in the hope that we will start winning more traffic from local search.

  41. Drip feeding citations related to the location that you are in still works after Panda and Penguin, as long as you are gentle and keep the quality up.

  42. 2013

    Drip feeding your citations and backlinks is crucial with Google.

    I know for I used to hammer Google and have been sandoxed twice. Took six months each time to get out.

    Interesting article!


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