Category Archives: Local Search

Outside of the 3-Pack, How Does Google Find Local Results?

Here’s an interesting case of Google’s local organic algorithm failing to produce the right results, and it tells us a bunch about how they’re trying to produce those local results in the organic results outside of the 3-pack.

I’m sitting here near Sunriver, Oregon, and I search for “restaurants near me”. The 3-pack looks pretty good…it’s got the pushpin very accurately located for me (within yards, in fact, despite the fact that I’m on a PC connected via my cable internet provider, not my cellphone with GPS).

3-pack results for restaurants near me
Continue reading Outside of the 3-Pack, How Does Google Find Local Results?

Google Places API Quietly Divorces Google+

I unfortunately have to report that my Google+ My Business Page Finder tool no longer shows the Google+ page for the business in its search results.

Why not?

Because the Google Places API, which used to show the Google+ page in its response, now returns a Google Maps page instead.

I haven’t seen any announcement of this, but the docs on the Place Details Request have been changed. Continue reading Google Places API Quietly Divorces Google+

The Problem with Google’s Monopoly

no option to leave a review
If Google+ reviews are so important, how come it’s so difficult to leave one on a mobile device?

I’m not one of those who think Google is inherently evil, and that everything they do is a devious attempt to trick us into spending more on AdWords. OK, some of what they do is…but they’re a for-profit company, and need to do their best to make a buck for their shareholders…and that’s OK.

The problem with having a virtual monopoly on any given space is that there’s no real incentive to be better than the competition. If you release a version of your software and it’s got problems, the customers won’t leave you in droves because–well, you’re really the only game in town. Continue reading The Problem with Google’s Monopoly