Google finally goes “local directory” in Place Pages
Google had been lagging behind sites like Yelp.com in providing a place to find information about businesses. If you did a local search, you would have a “More info…” link that would expand your search result inside the map and have tabs that were badly organized. Not anymore. Enter Place Pages. Google explains it well: “Now, instead of just getting a slightly bigger bubble, you’ll get an entire page of rich details, like photos, videos, a Street View preview, nearby transit, reviews and related websites.”
But don’t let them fool you. This is not just a minor improvement. This is a major entry in the directory website world. Think MerchantCircle, Yelp, CitySearch, etc.
Google Place Pages is a crazy directory…
Google now has pages for each of the “directories” in the URL. The street you live on now has its own Place Page.
- United States – /places/us/
- Denver – /places/us/denver/
- S. Queen Way – /places/us/denver/s-queen-way/
- 904 – /places/us/denver/s-queen-way/904/
- Katz Web Services, Inc. – /places/us/denver/s-queen-way/904/-katz-web-services-seo-&-web-design
…but Place Pages are still “search results”
Place Pages also seem to guess what you’re looking for. If Google thinks that the URL you have entered is related to a page, it will display the related information.
- Place Pages are related search results or best guesses? The results are not always right, or even close.
- /places/us/co/lakewood/-starbucks takes us to a related coffee shop
- /places/us/-starbucks and gets Starbucks wrong again here
- /places/us/denver/-starbucks but is correct in Denver and New York
- S. Queen Way – each of these shows the same page content
- But the South Queen Way in nearby Littleton that gets no love except when going to /places/us/littleton/s-queen-way/
- London – Google chooses the most relevant
- /places/london/ goes to the UK London (also at http://maps.google.com/places/uk/london/)
- /places/us/london/ goes to the apparently famous London, Kentucky…which doesn’t have anything going for it, or any content
- …and all the other Londons in the US get ignored. Like London, Alabama (which has steet view!?) or London, Ohio, which even has a YouTube video on its page…but gets no love.
Keep your eyes on Google Place Pages
We want there to be a Place Page for every place in the world, but we might be missing a few places here and there….And if you don’t have a business, but you discover a place that doesn’t have a Place Page, you can add it through community edits or Google Map Maker, depending on the country you’re in.
I’ve been waiting for Google to release something that could effectively serve as a way to review every single business, place, restaurant, etc. on Earth. Place Pages is their true entry into the world of Yelp and Urbanspoon, because finally each business has its own page that is easy to find and remember. It’s simple to find hours, leave reviews, and more all from this one page.
I imagine Google will create Android and iPhone apps to enable more simple reviewing using Place Pages. This is a bomb that Google has dropped…but they’re dropping it all soft-like so as not to worry the competition.
For further reading:
- Place Pages: Google Launches Rival to Yelp
- Google Maps UI upgrade: Places page replaces tabbed interface
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