Google Local launches in Ireland - Kinda
It's not rolled out across all searches on Google in Ireland, but it is certainly alive and kicking for hotels.
Google recently enhanced their search results pages with the addition of local business results (Google Maps) to searches targeting locations within Ireland. While these results have been available for some time in other locations such as the US and UK, this is the first time that searches for Irish locations have triggered maps as well as web links.
The implications for website owners are that the nature of the results page on Google has changed dramatically. It is no longer sufficient to list highly for location searches in the standard results, if you do not perform well in the map results. The figure below shows the results for a search using the phrase ‘hotels in Dublin’. The clear winners of this change are the sites that appear high in the map listing, as the previous first web listing has now been relegated from first to eleventh place on the page.
Google Local in action today for the search "Dublin Hotels" with the top six hotels availing of Bookassist's Traffic Builder online marketing service
The blended search results are also triggered by property name searches (see below), so it is important to ensure that your listing in Google maps is well managed. We've previously highlighted the usefulness of Google Local as part of Google's drive towards blended search in this blog entry: Get high search ranking through blended search results.
A property name search on Google Ireland today, now showing Google Local information
To maximise the benefits of this change, go to http://www.google.com/local/add/ and log in with a Google account.
You can then claim your map listing by going http://maps.google.com/ and searching for your property by name. Click on the “more info” link and then on the “Add or edit your business” link. From here you can confirm your web and email addresses as well as your physical address and phone number. You can also correct any errors in the map location for your property. When all the important details are correct, you can the concentrate on enhancing your entry by adding a good description, uploading photos and videos, as well as other details such as free wifi or parking.