By Sarah Douglas, Senior SEO Strategist
When Google+ introduced pages for businesses, we—and much of the search industry at large—expected to see growing interconnectedness between this new product and their established business presence product, Google Places. We are happy to share that we are now seeing evidence that strongly suggests that there is indeed a relationship with some surprising effects.
At the time of launch, Google+ accounts were only allowed to create 20 listings per account, an inconvenience for businesses with more than 20 locations. Our SEO team addressed this limitation by implementing the following tactics: the first 20 locations were added to the same Google account that is used for our Places listings, and additional locations were added to specially created accounts.
For our Self Storage client, StorQuest, it was recently noted that when searching for their primary brand name in Google+ only some of their locations’ pages were showing up, with several others missing. Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that not only were there just 20 locations showing in the results, they happened to only be the 20 locations that were created within the account that also contained the Places listings. The other locations could be found only if a search was performed for the brand name with a specific location detail like “StorQuest–Los Angeles.”
Since launch, Google has now expanded the number of pages that can be owned or managed by a single account, so we performed an experiment, granting management rights to that primary Google account to the rest of the listings for their locations. Nearly immediately, searches for their brand name now returned all of the listings, not just the original 20.
While the exact relationship between Places and Plus can’t be established, this demonstration of the internal search results for Plus speaks to some level of trust or authority given to accounts that already own verified Places listings for the businesses being represented.