Let the Local Service Area Tournament Begin!
New to your LBL as of TODAY: Service Areas and Location Settings!
WOW!!!!! YEAH!!!! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!! … it’s about TIME!
Every chance I had to communicate with someone from google maps I squeaked the wheel of, “so when are you going to offer service areas?” Annoying? Yes. But necessary. ….So Thanks for listening.
So what does this really mean?
Hopefully this will mean that we are not competing for map positions in all of our service areas. Whether that is the case or not is a different story. I believe that they came up the most accurate reason to provide a result by a service area. “Do customers come to you or do you go to the customer?”
Restaurants, shopping centers, UPS stores, all have customers that go to them. Pest control companies, plumbers, pool guys, all go the their customers. That is the perfect qualifier or whether or not you should be in a service area class or a location class. Minus the fact that some restaurants will offer both delivery and sit down. But do you want to be a delivery company or a dine in. Your call. For my business this new classification is wonderful. Bravo, google.
So how is this going to work? How are they going to determine who is best fit in the service area? I would assume that traffic to the businesses website will play a factor. Searches on that business by IP address will play a factor. And yes, I imagine that your location will still play a factor. Especially when all else is equal.
The good news for Google is that all of the SEO experts out there will stop telling companies to spam the maps with fake addresses to be considered local. The bad news for local smaller companies will be that they are once again put on a platform where they are competing in a division A game, not in a location driven division C game. The good news for the users is that hopefully the users will get more qualified choices instead of Pop Shop’s ABC. And as Google sees it, the happier the users are with their experience the better off Google will be.
Plus this puts Google in a whole new realm of Local Business. Yahoo doesn’t offer this and their maps are littered with bad information even after offering a “featured/paid listing”. Bing doesn’t offer this. Google is King of the internet local world. I can’t wait to see when Google offers their own mobile-map-app that allows rating and check-in. I have no doubt that they will be buying one soon or creating one of their own soon enough.