I have been working on promoting businesses through Google Places, which has had so many changes as of late, it is a lot to keep up with. What are some of the changes you see happening and what are you doing/suggest doing to compensate accordingly?
Sorry to respond so late. There are so many changes to Google places this year, and we have been tracking and watching every day.
Focus on citations, mentions and such from highly respected local organizations. A Better Business Bureau membership is one of the best things you can have to help rank in Places, add any well established associations. Then focus on LOCAL sites that have been around a while and may offer a citation opportunity for writing a review (if you know them and like them) or Charities where you can sponsor a page. The future of Rankings is in establishing credibility and uniqueness.
Some changes that are coming would be more focus on user reviews and social ranking of local businesses..
As Locl results are dominating city level searches, I have moved away from stanadard SEO for such keywords. My experience is that regional keywords are still fine but local are dominating the first page of results now so standard SEO, even if you are no. 1, means you actually appear 9th or 10th if on page 1 at all.
Instant search and Google Places has killed standard SEO practices and forced a focus on local SEO
I suggest you do a search on google and read up on it, there are a lot of blogs that have been keeping up with the trends of local search and can give you some good advise on it.
I would never advise to move away from your standard SEO. This needs to be done in conjunction with Places listings.
Local listings are just an added bonus as they only display for certain keyword.
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