No Links on Google Local Business Results

Google Local Business listings are a huge source of traffic for businesses lucky enough to have locations in lots of different towns. Unfortunately over the last few months Google has removed a lot of links from these listings and it’s costing people a lot of traffic.

Previously if there was only one business listed on the map then it used to link directly to the businesses website, now it just links to the “place page” which is of course full of AdWords ads. This is the same for verified and unverified listings.

Google Places

Add this to the fact that Google is rolling out sponsored listings within the Local Business Listings and it all starts to look like we might be seeing a big decline in the free traffic we are used to from the Local Business Listings.

Local sponsored listings

By Patrick Altoft. at 8:35AM on Wednesday, 21 Jul 2010

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events. Follow Patrick Altoft on Twitter.

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16 Responses to “No Links on Google Local Business Results”

  1. Danny D says:

    Good point Patrick.
    Unfortunately Google got wise to this free traffic source some 12 months, the amount of "Google partners" who are selling top listings are unbelievable.
    I get weekly calls for this "service".
    Back to SEO drawing board for some companies and local business search business generation. I personally do not think it will be long before actual location based SERP's are introduced.

  2. David says:

    I guess this change hasn't yet rolled over in Europe as I cant find any signs of the above in either Google Spain or France… it does look a bit ominous for those getting organic visibility on the 7 pack , but I guess it presents opportunities for those other more PPC-keen marketers

  3. David says:

    It's all over the place (no pun intended) down here in Plymouth. I have been helping local businesses (free) to get a Google Places listing and verified.

    That along with a profile lovely!

    David

  4. Affiliate Network says:

    Great post, I was just about to do this for the business i work for but now that you said it screwed over a lot of people…sad

  5. Seperately, I would recommend as an alternative to google maps listings to advertise organically in the actual search engine listings. This is what I have done with one of my clients and he is already seeing the benefit.

  6. David Iwanow says:

    Ignore the fact that they are changing the rules and de-listing businesses, I wrote up a post today that focuses around their big brother style tactics http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-places-

  7. Mckinley says:

    Didn't know this! This is terrible….

  8. SEOxide says:

    Bad news :-( Just as I was starting to see some traffic!

  9. It normal here in Australia. If this happens there would be significant effect who are marketing via Google maps. However, there are yet very good sources to get listed on Google local marketing results.

  10. Google must have looked at this strategically as not all links have been removed. A search in Google for 'number plates Leeds' shows two local business results and both have direct links to websites.

  11. Stephen Webb says:

    Google maps have been a great source of free optimisation for quite some time, so the fact that they are being edited like this will have a huge knock on effect for businesses. Google have become wise to the fact that this is another opportunity to create revenue, and seem to be taking advantage of this.

    Working for a company who regularly use the local business listings in optimisation it looks like we will have to address this in the near future. I will be interested to see the reaction from other SEO companys, and if this is a new area they will start offering SEO for.

  12. Ret says:

    Yes it;s sad. But it's business for Google. I just hope the users can still find the most relevant links from these ads.

  13. seo sydney says:

    Oh god! It did not happen well. What will be the situation of some important site and data as well? Thanks for informing.

  14. whats the best way to get high up in the local listings? is it to have lots of local links?

  15. I wondered why our website footfall had gone down. I suppose we will be forced back to using adwords.

  16. This must be why my footfall has decreased on my website. Back to the adwords again :(

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