Google’s New Program Aims to Get Local Businesses Online

Google is trying to get local businesses in 30,000 cities worldwide online via a new program called “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map.”

The initiative was designed to encourage small businesses, consumers, and local organizations to help complete a local business listing on Google. According to Google’s own research, consumers are 38 percent more likely to visit and 29 percent more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with complete listings. However, not enough companies have set up a local business listing on a search engine, Google says.

The program provides each city with a custom website where local businesses can find how they appear on Google Maps and in search results. Take, New York City for example, where the owner of Ost Cafe can see what listing information they have missed on Maps.

ost-cafe

Google will also provide local business owners with a step-by-step guide for getting online with Google My Business, and a free website and domain name for one year with Google’s partner Startlogic.

Consumers can participate in the program by creating postcards to support their favorite local businesses, and further sharing the postcards on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, such sharing will not help local businesses rank higher in Google search results.

“Sharing the postcards won’t make businesses appear higher in search, but will hopefully spur them to verify and start managing their business listing,” a Google spokesperson tells Search Engine Watch.

The search giant has also partnered with local organizations like chambers of commerce and small business development centers to offer Google My Business workshops, where local businesses can learn to how to control the information listed about them on Google Search and Maps.

Are you ready to get your favorite local businesses online?

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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