Google rolled out changes in its search results about two weeks ago that are proving to be great news for many hotels, inns and vacation rental management companies. This change represents a pretty dramatic shift in the look and feel of Google’s SERPs for many local searches.
Previously, when a consumer did a location search (like “Orlando Vacation Home”) Google would show the “10-box” at the top of the organic search results and then show the top 10 results after that.
It looked like this:
Now, Google is blending the two and placing the Google Places information right into the organic search results so that it looks like this:
Why is this a benefit? There are three reasons:
1) Because wholesalers and distributors (competitors who don’t have physical presence in your market) are not eligible for a Google Places listing and their resulting listings are not nearly as attractive or prominent as those businesses that do have a Places listing. They get a pretty boring listing that looks like this:
2) Because many of your competitors have not taken the time to get a nice Google Places listing, and theirs may look like this:
3) Because YOUR listing now has rich and compelling content. Even if you don’t rank #1, you should be receiving more clicks because your listing looks more appealing than the competition:
So, what should you do to ensure you benefit from this change? Make sure you have claimed your Google Places listing, that you have “tricked it out,” and that you have purchased their sponsored listing option.