New Addition To Google's Local Business Center Highlights Competition

22 Feb
February 22, 2010

A little over two weeks ago Google launched a new addition to the Local Business Center. As one who has followed the Local Business Center progress from the start, I am always curious to see what Google has planned for this awesome platform. The new addition, plainly stated, is disappointing.

After the reviews section on the Place Pages is now a section called “Nearby places you might like” which lists local competitors, even if the owner has claimed the Local Business Center (LBC) page! Looking at an Olive Garden page here in Arizona brings up this result in the “Nearby places you might like” section.

(click to enlarge)

If Olive Garden spends the time to claim the LBC listing, as well as optimize the page to be found better, why should the competition benefit from Olive Garden’s work? I was hoping that this section would develop into more of an “accessories” or “additional recommendations” such as a person who shops for a car would see car insurance or car stereo installer recommendations instead of direct competition.

As this appears near the bottom of the page, I would suggest making sure your “Details” section of the LBC be completely filled in. For example a business could add more phone numbers, add more categories if they are a fit, in the additional details add areas serviced or products available. The coupon section appears before the “Nearby places” as well as the hours and payment options. I would highly recommend making sure all the information be added to push the competitive section below the fold.

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