Google Map Business Categories, Unraveling the Black Box

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.

About the author

Marty is author of "Killer Facebook Ads" (Wiley/Sybex 2011) and CEO of aimClear, an online marketing agency that has managed Facebook ad campaigns generating over 10 billion impressions internationally. Client credits include MarthaStewart.com, Siemens, Second Life, Budget Direct, and other global brands.

He’s written extensively for respected Internet marketing trade publications and been quoted in many others. aimClear Blog has been cited as among the Technorati Top 10 Small Business Blogs, Cison Top Ten Social Media Blogs, PRWeb’s 25 Essential Public Relations Blogs You Should Be Reading, and listed in the AdAge Power150.

A fixture on the international conference circuit, Marty speaks regularly at Search Engine Strategies (SES). Marty founded and produces the aimClear Full Day Facebook Marketing Intensive Workshop.

He has been described as “not your typical agency type.” A “social media maverick” and “more innovator than follower.” aimClear has become internationally recognized for its work in demographic research, especially as pertains to search, Facebook, and LInkedIn.

Marty and his aimClear team specialize in paid and organic search and social online marketing. aimClear’s services include blended search and social demographic research; search engine optimization (SEO) technical and semantic audits, analytics monitoring, and consulting; pay-per-click (PPC) audits, setup, testing, and ongoing management; online reputation management (ORM) dashboard configuration and ongoing monitoring; social media marketing consulting and data-driven community management; public relations; and copywriting.