Why does this listing Rank #1 for House Painting in Paramus NJ?
- The listing is credited with 69 web pages pointing at the name of the business but these are all essentially scraper sights that have picked up the listings of the competition as well. And there is no website, so no links.
- The business has no reviews.
- No relevant keyword in the name or business description
- No alphabetical advantage.
- No proximity to city centroid advantage, in fact, the business is not located in the town searched.
- None of the categories on Superpages.com have anything to do with Painting, nor in the business profile, which was filled out with care…
- Because the business does not do House Painting… just Power Washing.
This is exactly the type of thing that Local Seo’s complain about… Results like these that are seemingly unexplainable. Well, I might have an explanation.
When I wrote Top 3 in Google Maps, back in August, I asserted that allpages.com was the key to ranking in Google Maps. Thanks to the wonderful work of Mike Blumenthal here and here, I now believe that Allpages is a key not the key. But I also believe it has special powers (wow, that’s a little over the top).
Let me explain:
As I wrote before, I think Google uses Allpages because this site does not allow a business owner to modify the listing at all. All the information comes from the local telco. This allows Google access to local information that is hand-edited by telephone operators. Brilliant if you ask me.
I also know that part of every phone record is a service date. That is the date that the business line becomes effective. In effect, knowing that service date, gives an accurate account of the age of the business.
Now, the theory part: If you were Google, would YOU consider the age of the business when displaying results? I would. It would produce so much of a better result for consumers than the alphabet or the city centroid or anything else. The age of the business is something we all consider when making a purchase. Why wouldn’t they do this?
Now, back to the special powers part and more theory. I am suggesting that if the category you are listed in on Google Maps comes from Allpages.com, it comes with additional information… the age of the business line, and that information provides extra Google Maps Juice. Similar to domain age in regular SEO, but perhaps more powerful.
Now for this theory to have a chance of being right, I would be able to find the listing for this business in the yellow pages under the heading Painting Contractors, remember the information would originate from the telco, and this would be quite a coincidence because this business does not provide that service. And I would be able to find this business listed under Painting Contractors in Allpages; again quite a coincidence.
Off to the library I go…
I find the yellow pages that is local to Hawthorne and eagerly look through the Painting Contractors heading for the listing. It is not there. If you saw my face at that moment you might have thought I lost my first born. I began checking other directories, each time without success. I found only his advertising under the heading of Power Washing. Until… one last thought…
I picked up the Business to Business Yellow Pages and lo and behold… BINGO. Whooommp, there it is. I could hear the conversation in my head between the telephone operator and the business owner that must have taken place years before. “I’m sorry Power Washing is not available in the Business Directory, would you like to choose another heading?” Sorry… Sorry… “Alright, just throw the listing in the Painting heading, it doesn’t matter anyway.”
Now, to check Allpages.com:
There it is… 2 for 2… that is enough for me to think this idea is worth testing. Here is what I think we need to do test:
Check your local yellow pages… only the ones put out by the telephone company for the listing. Check any and all books put out by the Telco… there may be up to 3 depending on where you live: the regular phone book, the B to B and the companion. You are looking for the free listing… the one that comes with the business line. It will be in upper and lower case, light type.
Check those listings against Allpages.com to test the first part of the theory and then if you want to add or change your categories in Google Maps, call the telephone company or your yp rep and have your free listings moved. If you are in an area with multiple local books, like the B to B or companion, put the listings in different headings to spread the love. And then wait.
Here is what Allpages has to say about waiting… which could also account for the slow response time of Google Maps updates.