Google on official location listings: Use it or lose it [warning]

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by Brafton Editorial
Businesses' local listings might be in jeopardy if they don't respond to a request from Google for location confirmation.

Google doesn’t necessarily make it easy for companies to rank in local searches. Front-running positions are generally reserved for businesses that have played by the engine’s rules, creating and verifying locations to secure Google+ Local Pages, then optimizing accounts for search. Now, Google is throwing a proverbial wrench in things that could strip some companies of the Google Place Pages and Google Map locations they need to rank.

The possible Place page disappearing act was brought to webmasters’ attention in a recent Google Product Forum discussion thread, in which a webmaster asked whether an email she recently received asking for Google Place confirmation was a scam. Google Business Community Manager Jade Wang explained that this was indeed a legitimate email and companies must confirm their accounts before February 21, 2014 or lose their positions on Google Places and Google Maps.

Google Business Community Manager Jade Wang explained that this was indeed a legitimate email and companies must confirm their accounts before February 21.

Wang doesn’t explain why Google is asking account holders to confirm company accounts or lose their listings except that the search engine is making some changes so it can continually provide customers with the best online experiences.

Although local search has continued to evolve, marketers say it hasn’t gotten any easier. In fact, Brafton previously reported that 62 percent of marketers think local SEO success is actually getting harder to achieve.

To avoid a two-steps-forward, one-step-back situation, brands should act swiftly if they received Google’s latest warning, AND stay alert for other upcoming changes to avoid local search surprises.

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