Google Places – that eye-catching, pin-pointed map displaying the locations of specific businesses in a geographic area – has caught on with web searchers. If your dealership is competing with others in the same town, Google Places can be invaluable. A simple search of “RV dealerships in [city]” can launch you to increased visibility.
This free service is so engaging, in fact, that it can be tempting to try and get as much exposure as possible in that small space. There’s the right way to do it – with credible information tied to the Google Places format – and the wrong way. The wrong way will get your account booted off the map.
Their game, their rules
You can’t game the system. People have tried. They’ve populated their account with irrelevant mailing addresses like former businesses, personal residences and rental properties, thinking it will boost performance. But Google Places verifies all addresses, and is quick to drop non-credible accounts when such scams are identified.
Another heads-up for the Google Places police is a business with more than one listing per location. Even if your dealership serves more than one town, keep your listing to one physical location – that means a facility with a mailing address (no P.O. boxes allowed).
Busted? You can make it right
If your page has been dropped from the Google index, it’s a setback for your online marketing campaign, but not necessarily a permanent problem. You can overcome a dropped listing by starting from scratch, and playing by Google’s rules:
• Keep it real. You must have a legitimate, physical business in the Google Places area, or you will never get a verification for your Places page. There is no other option, and you cannot force Google to set up, verify, and show your Places page.
• Start fresh. Manipulating Google Places simply won’t work. If your page has been dropped, you have just one option. Delete all the Places pages you created, then set up the page again using accurate, verifiable information.