I am starting to see a few trends in Google Maps that can be leveraged for placement and wanted to share them with you.
I have particularly studied several pest control firms up in the New York City and New Jersey areas. Here’s what I see in regards to who owns the top spot and on down. My comments below are based on what I see for the New York City search query above, but are matched with the New Jersey listings as well.
1. Typically the business with the most number of reviews will be placed first. These reviews are pulled from maps.google.com reviews as well as other review locations. The New York City reviews are being pulled from NewYork.CitySearch.com in the link above. All the business locations with the city name in the query with reviews are listed first and in order with the one with the most reviews listed in the number one position.
2. Google Maps then appears to pick up adjoining cities alphabetically with the business with the most reviews first. In the link above the first city was Astoria. The business listed had nine reviews.
3. Any businesses that had no reviews were then listed with the city that matched the search query first and then additional cities were listed in alphabetical order. So in this case the first listing without a review had a Manhattan address (as Google understands that this is New York City). The second business was in Astoria and also had no reviews. The next listing without a review was for Brooklyn.
Additionally Google will show a listing over another if it has a coupon. So if you have no reviews, but you offer one or two coupons, your listing will appear in a higher position than others without reviews and with no coupons.
It is easy to create coupons. You do so by logging into your Google Maps or Google Local Business Center account. Now getting positive reviews is harder.
My recommendation is that if Google Maps placement is valuable to your business is to get busy soliciting customer reviews. Provide clients with a link to post reviews directly on your Google Maps profile page when you have sold or completed your service. You may want to even encourage reviews with a small monetary tip, coffee cup with your name, or personal email asking for their comments and a link to your Google Maps page. I would also recommend that you create one to five coupons for your business.
This is the first real trend that I have been able to see in regards to how Google handles who gets placed where when it comes to Google Maps. At this time we do not offer Google Maps placement services as really getting reviews and creating coupons is about you and your interaction with customers directly and not necessarily something that should be farmed out. That being said, clearly the “nut has been cracked” so get busy working to improve your Google Maps placement starting with customer reviews and then coupons.