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Google Boost: Your New Local “Adwords”

March 27, 2011

It is no surprise that Google Boost emerged, given Google’s recent focus on local searches. If you haven’t heard yet, Google Boost is now your local version of Adwords. Studies show that nearly all consumers will research online before buying locally. Essentially, local business owners now have the opportunity to run paid advertising campaigns through a much simpler system than Boost’s predecessor Google Adwords. Boost was designed for the hurried business owner who really doesn’t have time to manage a large advertising campaign online through the regular Adwords.

So, how does it work? You pay per click and are able set your own budget (i.e. $100 per month). Google will then select keywords for you (unlike Adwords) based upon your Places account set up and categories. That means you’ll need to go right now and set up your Places page if you haven’t already. It’s a must. Your ad will show up in the Sponsored Links section with a different colored pin, also displaying review ratings, phone number, address and a link to your place page. This is what the local business owner all across the nation has been waiting for. It’s time to go set up your Boost account! Here’s a great video to learn more.

New Changes to Google Places: Combining Organic & Local

March 8, 2011

If you’re in a frenzy over the recent changes to Google Places and your local listing, don’t worry. There are things you can do to be prepared and capitalize on the changes before your competitors do. If you didn’t know that there were changes to Google search results, well then tisk-tisk.

First, the infamous “7-Pack” (top-right) that we all became accustomed to is on it’s way out.

Now, Google is displaying only organic results in the middle of the page (bottom-right). This means the easy days of popping up first without any type of organic SEO work are over. The local map is still there pushed to the right side of the page above the sponsored links. Now, here’s the big news: the algorithm has changed. Google is combining organic and local. Take a look.

A couple more things to think about:

  1. Fully finished Place pages will assume much greater importance now.
  2. Your Place page will greatly impact your organic rankings; especially the reviews.
  3. Google will scour the internet and combine all the reviews about your company on all other sites.
  4. Local searches will increase.
  5. Google Boost is Google’s new local version of “Adwords.”

In summary, you can’t get away with leaving your Places page unfinished or not optimized properly AND you can’t get away with ignoring the on-page optimization for your website. BOTH will greatly impact your rankings now.