January 24th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Does Local SEO Include Linking To Google Places?

Local businesses are strongly encouraged to claim their Google Places listing. But should you link to it? That’s one question asked of a search engine optimiser who specialises in local SEO.

I like the answer he gives, too. There is no reason you should expect your links to your Google Places page to increase your page’s search rankings. In fact, those links could hurt your local website.

Local SEO is a tricky business. On the one hand, Google Places can help your local search engine optimisation efforts. But only if you do it right. And sometimes linking to your Google Places page can benefit you. But most times not.

For instance, you could pull your Google Map into your website to show your prospects where you are located and how to find you. You could even go so far as to place a pin on the Google Places map to show your exact location. And if you have a good number of Google Places reviews, especially favorable reviews, then you could show your pride in those reviews by linking to your Google Places page.

Wait a minute, didn’t I just say don’t do that?

Actually, what I said is it won’t help your page rank any higher. It might be good marketing to showcase your positive reviews. But if you do that, use a no-follow link. You don’t want any link juice needed for your website’s internal pages escaping into the Webosphere.

Local SEO often includes Google Places, but it doesn’t generally include linking out to Google Places from your website.

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