Google rolling out dashboard for local listings in Google Maps and Google Search

Customers origin based on driving directions in Google Maps
Customers origin based on driving directions in Google Maps
Google last week rolled out a free to use dashboard for local listings in Google Maps and Google Search. Dedicated to local business owners, the dashboard includes very useful information such as:
- Impressions: The number of times the business listing appeared as a result on a search or Google Maps search in a given period.
- Actions: The number of times people interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times they clicked through to the business' website or requested driving directions to the business.
- Top search queries: Which queries led customers to the business listing; for example, are they finding the listing for a cafe by searching for "tea" or "coffee"?
- Zip codes where driving directions come from: Which zip codes customers are coming from when they request directions to the local business location.

The interesting thing here is that this type of information was so far only available to big retailers using costly geo-marketing tools and customer research. Now Google makes it available for free to million of small business owners.

To protect any potentially personally identifiable information, queries with a very low search volume have been put by Google into the "other" category, addresses are filtered out of the queries (for example, if a someone searched for "bakery near 5873 Maple Ave," you would only see the "bakery" term.) Privacy is also the reason why Google is limiting at the ZIP code level the accuracy of where started turn by turn directions to the local business.

Stickiness, crowdsourcing and Local Ads
In providing such interesting data Google is cleverly creating a lot of stickiness to its “Local Business Center” where the dashboard is available. Local business owners will be likely to update more frequently their profile, resulting in very fresh information. In addition, the Mountain View company will be able to create more awareness for its “Local Business Ads” (AdWords) - which appear in Google Maps and in other types of local searches - to these local business owners.

To learn more about this dashboard for local listings watch the Google video below:

Monday, June 8th 2009

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