Google Places Account Drastically Affects Organic Results

I wanted to share some interesting results we’ve seen in the last few days.

New Point-er Jessica Fisher is from Winthrop, WA where her dad runs a refrigeration company.  When she Googled his company late last week, she noticed that the only result that appeared was his Yellow Pages listing (he doesn’t have his own website).

Searching on “refrigeration Winthrop WA,” she saw a hodgepodge of his competitors’ sites come up – but she also saw that no Google Places results were currently appearing, despite the local nature of her search.  None of his competitors had set up a Google Places page!  Springing into action, Jessica immediately helped her dad set up and verify his Google Places page.

Once the page was set up, she expected that Fisher Refrigeration’s Google Places page would appear at the top of the organic results.  What she didn’t expect was this:

Not only is the local result appearing at the top – Google has pulled every other available data source referencing Fisher Refrigeration into the top 10 organic results.

This is a clear indicator that, at least for locally-themed searches, Google sees having a verified Google Places account as a high trust/authority indicator – so much so that other pages referencing that business are lent authority as well.  Obviously, this sort of drastic result will only be so easily attained in a small town where there is low competition.  Still, it’s a pretty compelling case for adding a Google Places account as part of any organic search effort.

Point It About the author
  • Interesting find. My first thought was that those other results came from the citations section of the Place page but that’s not the case as the page only has three listed citations.

    One thing to note is that all the search results are using a business address with a PO Box and not the street address associated with the Place page. Good enough matches for Google to include them in the search results but not good enough to qualify them as citations?

    May 23, 2011 at 7:59 am
  • I agree. It looks like Google can tell that this company is the same across these different data sources, but won’t count as a citation anything with either a PO box or that doesn’t have the same address.

    May 31, 2011 at 9:26 am

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