Thursday, January 21, 2010

Google Favourite Places - Will this damage SEO business forever?

A little over a month ago, Google announced that it was sending brick and mortar businesses decals to put on their windows, with bar codes that people can scan with their phones to bring up business listings.

These were made available to the businesses Google deemed "favorite places". Over 10,000 businesses in the US got them right off the bat, and Google will most likely expand that number in the future.

Now what's worrying is how they picked the TOP businesses:

The first hint that this is the case is the manner with which Google decided which companies would receive the decals. Their formula for the top 100,000+ Favorite Places was based largely on user interaction with local listings, including how many people searched for driving directions to a given location.

Some have argued that this may have unintended consequences: certain types of businesses are likely to receive a phone call from potential visitors rather than more-easily tracked user engagement with Google. Or, certain businesses’ clientele may be less keen on using Google Maps for directions. As a result, these businesses are unintentionally penalized by the company’s formula for PlaceRank. Like web search, the structure of the system may be limited in determining the actual popularity, community standing, or other relevant factors in determining the popularity of a given business.

Does this mean that a business with a code that is scanned more frequently will get page result preference for their search terms? Is this not a dangerous move for a "organic" / "non paid" non judgemental company like Google?

We'll have to see. What do you think?


Bruce Princeton said...

Hey buddy,
Your post is very informative. We wish to get our website SEO optimized. Can you share any tips on that?

WizardMan said...

Hi Bruce,

well tell you what, give me your website address and I'll see what i can do for you.

Is it