What's Up With Google's Recent Letter To (your) Businesses?

If you have received a letter from Google Places recently regarding your listing on Google Places, you’re not the only one. What does it mean?

Its funny that this letter is quite simple in its request, yet it evokes a significant response from clients. Rightfully so. If you are like most of my clients, you know that your Google Places listing is a major source of traffic to your website. You know that auditing your Google Places listing is the first order of business when we begin any Internet Marketing or SEO initiative. So its no wonder this letter begs the question, “Why is Google telling me to update my listing?” Is HARTENSTINE not paying attention to my online needs?

The first thing to keep in mind is – Google is always changing something and they don’t inform anyone in advance of changes. “We do our best to keep the details of the algorithm confidential in order to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.”  Google.

Google has a more evolutionary methodology than other businesses. They try things. They discard things. It may appear chaotic, but that’s how Google works. Remember that Google Places was previously called Google Local, which was an off-shoot of creating Google Maps. In this process, which has spanned quite a few years now, there have been lots of hiccups in this evolutionary tale. I’m sure its not over.

So what’s going on? Google keeps a tight lip about things.

My advice; Do as the letter asks. Simply login Google Local Business Center. Visit your listing. I’ll visit your listing too. Update anything that needs updating. Save your listing. Press the Save Changes button at the bottom of the Edit Listing page, even if you didn’t need to make any changes. Just let Google know you are paying attention. It may just be that those businesses that respond to the letter will be so noted in logs. It may be that that is all it takes to acquire an “edge”.