You may have known that it is critical to claim your Google place listing especially for local businesses. Because Google now puts a map on side and lists 7 spots of local listings above or between the organic ranking sites for most local keyword terms (not all of them).
Here is an example of what Google shows on its first page when I search for “restaurant”.
So people will be thrill to see their Google place listing be placed within these 7 spots. Because obviously those 7 places can easily get searchers click on their place page and/or their website, even though their site itself may not be organically ranked on the first page of Google.
That’s why everyone wants to know how to rank their Google place listing within those top 7 spots. The answer is no one knows except Google. Of course marketers like to figure out what factors Google believes are important.
For example, most of them believe that citation is one key factor. Citation means how many niche related directories one business has been listed on. The more directories it’s been listed, the more likely it will be ranked by Google place.
The other factor many marketers believe is number of reviews on Google place page and on many other directories. Review is important. Actually not only the number of reviews counts but average rating of all reviews matters . It seems that those businesses with more high rating reviews are ranked top on Google places map.
But are citation and review the only two factors as many marketers believe? No, definitely not. Otherwise businesses can easily manipulate it by submitting to thousands of directories and posting those many high rating fake reviews.
Google must have more other factors to look at when ranks a listing on its map. One obvious evidence is that when you use different computers at different locations to search for the same term on Google, it will give you different results. So Google must look at IP of searchers to determine what local listing results to bring up.
Another evidence I found recently is that Google also lists those low rating or fewer review listings on its map top 7. Here are two examples:
So the point is there’s no such sure way to rank Google map listings. And I believe if one site is organically highly ranked by Google, it will eventually help its ranking on Google map too. To submit site to many directories is one of many legitimate ways for organic ranking. Local businesses should think of many creative ideas to encourage happy clients to leave their comments and reviews, because only genuine ones count.