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Google Map Business Categories, Unraveling the Black Box

Marty Weintraub
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google-maps-10-box.jpg Nearly all things "search" blend known algorithmic ranking attributes with mysterious black box elements. Much like the Federal reserve, even a stray comment from the kingmakers sends legions of search marketing minions scurrying for cover.

Best-practices surrounding Google Map business category optimization, are amongst the most annoying partially unknowns. The local SEO answer to "how the heck do we optimize for that" has always been "gee, we just don't really know for sure."

Landing your business in the appropriate Google Maps business category has always been something of a mystery for SEM professionals and small business owner alike.. Most marketing professionals have asked the question in annoyance: "Why can't I be in the same category as my competitor?"

Respected local search guru Mike Blumenthal in his blog, "Understanding Google Maps & Yahoo Local Search," has been researching the map category matter for a couple of years. In previous articles, which deserve attention in themselves, research indicates that "Google is pulling categories from SuperPages.The categories are not available in Local Business Center and small business owners are frustrated to see only their competitors shown in hotly contested niches.

Now, in what could be a gem of functional street wisdom, Blumenthal has published research which seems to offer a solution to help garner placement in coveted Google Maps business categories.

The recommended strategy is to remove all category information from your Google LBC listing and optimize the business title and description to include SuperPage categories. It can take 6-8 weeks for Google to plow through and update your record. Findings strongly support the theory that, that by following this method, your business listing will display for the desired category in applicable searches.


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