Chad Kimball’s Course – Google Maps

Website Authority and Google Maps. This is a general video about the portion of the Google Maps algorithm that has to do with your website factors. And what I’m talking about here is if you have a Google Maps listing, whether it’s a listing that you want to show up just…you know, if you do a search in google.com, for a lot of search terms, a map will show up just right there in the regular Google search results. I’m not talking about in the maps results, I’m just talking about in a regular, you just go to google.com, you do a search for a search phrase that has local intent. In other words, it’s a search phrase that where you are explicitly searching for something in your area, but you’re just using regular google.com to search it. A lot of times there’ll be a map there. And under that map will be several local businesses that correspond to pinpoints on the map itself. Another way that you can search for local businesses is actually to go to google.com/maps and just do your search there. That’s not a regular Google search. That’s a specific maps search. You can also do your search on a mobile device on the Google Maps app. There’s all kinds of ways that you can access these maps listings, these local results. No matter what though, Google is using your website, the website of your business, to figure out where to rank you in those results. Whether you’re searching local results on google.com, whether you’re searching local results on google.com/maps, whether you’re using the Google Maps app, all of those things, Google’s looking to your website to help them figure out how high in the list to place your business.

Obviously, this only works if you have a website associated with your local listing, your maps listing. So, when you create your maps listing, and we have videos on that, there’s a place where you can actually type in your website, and then that will be the website that Google will associate with your local listing. So, Google is going to look at your local listing, and then they’re going to look to see do they have a website that they have given us associated with this local listing. If the answer is yes, then they’re going to use that website, the factors associated with that website that I’m gonna explain here to figure out part of the way that they’re going to figure out where to rank your local listing. Now, obviously, this only works if you have a website associated with your listing. If you don’t, then you’re going to be at a disadvantage right away, because many of your competitors are probably going to have a website associated. So, if you don’t have a website associated with your local listing, you need to get one associated with your listing.

Website authority is the general principle that I’m talking about here. And what am I talking about when I say website authority? Website authority in a nutshell has to do with two things, and I’m oversimplifying it. But basically, it has to do with having high-quality content on your site and having a large amount of high-quality content on your website. So, I’m talking about number of pages, a large number of pages of high-quality content. And you need to have a large number of authority, powerful backlinks pointing to your website and the various pages on your website. Those two things added together are the sort of a general explanation of what Google is looking for and what they’re comparing to when they’re figuring out, “Where are we going to rank this person’s website?” So, that means that if you have a website that is…that if your competitors have a website associated with their local listings that have more pages of high-quality content and more powerful and a larger number of backlinks pointing to their website, they’re going to beat you probably in the local results. This is a huge factor. So, Google’s…even though this is a maps environment we’re talking about, Google is putting a high amount of weight on the website to figure out where to rank you. Now, we’re going to have a list of videos under this…I mean, a list of links to videos under this video that you’re watching to give you the details of how to get high-quality content, how to get a large number of pages of high-quality content, how to get a large number of backlinks and get authority backlinks pointing to your website. I’m not going to go through all the details here because that is a huge topic in itself. This is more of a strategy video. So, you can look under this video, and we’ll have links to other videos that you can use that are specifically action-oriented for how to get high-quality content, how to get a lot of backlinks, etc.

But, in general, what I want to talk about is the strategy, and it’s really important to determine your strategy. Now, since I know my audience has a lot of black hat or gray hat-type people, as well as white hat people in it, I want to cover both a black hat approach and white hat approach to this. And I want to give the pros and cons of each because this is really important for you to decide what direction you’re going to take in your local maps strategy. The first one I want to talk about is the churn and burn, and this would be more for you black hat guys, okay? Nowadays, what I mean by churn and burn is where you are putting up a large number of listings on the map, they might not be real businesses or relocations. They’re basically there so that anyone searching gets your phone number showing up in their maps results and calls your phone number. A lot of times this is a lead generation type thing. But the idea behind churn and burn is that you’re not making a large investment in each maps listing because you’re playing against Google’s terms of service and your listings might get deleted at any time. This does still work in maps. However, if you’re doing this strategy in maps, you really need to think about your website strategy, because without a website, you’re unlikely to rank in Google Maps, period. And a lot of people ask me, “Hey, can I use, like, black hat backlinks?” “Can I use spun content, auto-generated content on my site?” etc., etc. And the answer is you can, but you are going to…you need to realize that it’s not going to last. Even if you have the latest link technique, the latest auto-generated content technique, Google’s going to be able to figure it out eventually. And you have to realize that your website might get demoted or banned if you use those techniques, and as a result of that, you are going to lose your ranking in maps, because Google’s looking to your website to figure out where to rank you.

So, if you’re going to churn and burn strategy, it’s important that you think about it. Are you able to automate fast enough and cheap enough to make it worth it, okay? If you aren’t able to automate quickly and cheaply, then you have to think about your return on your investment. If you’re using black hat strategies, you have to realize these listings are probably going to die. This website might die, might get spanked by Google. Am I able to automate it cheaply enough and quickly enough where it really doesn’t matter because I can just put up more sites to use to associate with my Google Maps listings, and it doesn’t matter if they get deleted? You need to think about it that way. If you’re not able to automate fast enough and cheap enough to get a good return on your investment, then you’re going to need to go more with a white hat strategy. Now, it used to be that when you created black hat-type sites, Google wasn’t as good at figuring out the automated links, the automated content, and stuff like that. And so, your listings could last a very, very long time using black hat techniques. It’s not so much like that anymore. If you have a website that has spun content, or it has, you know, automated backlinks, large amounts of automated black hat-type backlinks, it’s not going to last that long. And you say, “Well, how long is it going to last?” Well, it really depends on what you’re doing, specifically what you’re doing and the risks involved with that. That’s why we have weekly Q&A sessions here in the members’ area. You can jump on there and specifically ask me about the technique that you’re using and ask me, “Hey, I’m trying to figure out what strategy to use. You know, is this a good one to use with maps? You know, if I’m setting up a website to associate with my maps listing, is this going to be a good technique for me to use or not?” And you can ask us that in the Q&A, the weekly live Q&As that we have here in the members’ area.

But it is important that you think about, “How much is it costing me to do this?” And if let’s say my listings…let’s say my website only is ranking well for like a week using these black hat techniques, would it still be worth it for me to do? Can I do it fast enough and cheap enough for me to still get a good return on my investment? That’s the thing you have to ask, because if you associate a website with your maps listing and you use black hat stuff to rank the website, so if your website’s ranking well in Google, regular google.com search, then it’s also going to cause your maps listing to rank well. But if that website ranking only lasts for a week or two weeks or a month, can you quickly and cheaply put up another one to make it worth it? That’s what you need to think about. So, those are the main cons. The pros of using that type of approach for the churn and burn, the black hat-type approach is that you can move really fast, and you can rank if you have things automated well and everything is being done by computers and software. You can create a massive number of listings and a massive number of websites, a massive number of pages for almost nothing if the computer is doing all the work for you. Those are the pros of that type of technique. Again, mainly becomes a return on investment issue you have to really think about and do the numbers, run the numbers and figure out what you want to do. Now, let’s talk about the long-term investment pros and cons. This would be a white hat approach where you’re not doing link spam. You’re not doing automated content that’s spun. You’re not gaming Google. You’re not going against Google’s terms of service too much for the website itself. And you’re building a large site with a lot of high-quality pages, a lot of high-quality links.

The pros to this are that it can last a long time. If your website plays according to Google’s rules as best as you can, then once you get it to rank, it’s likely to rank for a very, very long time, because you’re not going to get spanked and slapped. This is a big advantage. If you have a white hat site and you have a white hat or a gray, a fairly clean Google listing that’s ranking, it can bring you cash day in and day out without you having to do much to it for a very, very long time without having to redo it. Now, the cons of that are it can be very expensive to set up if you’re hiring writers to write the content. If you’re doing, like, a manual…a blink building where you’re actually going out there and getting super high-authority backlinks, you know, it can cost a lot. It requires employees sometimes or very good outsourcing to do, and it can be really expensive to do. So, you’re talking about, depending on your niche, a large investment up front and not seeing a quick return. But you’re going to see return once you get ranked, and the return is going to last for a long time. With the churn and burn strategy, obviously, it’s really cheap, and it’s really fast. You can see results really quick. I mean, we’re currently doing this where we’re able to set up listings. They’re ranking within a day, and the phone starts to ring really within 24 hours. It’s a very, very fast turnaround where we immediately begin to see return on our investment, using the churn and burn, the black hat stuff. But then those phone calls as quickly as they started can end and disappear. And so you have to have a strategy where you’re constantly putting up these listings, which is more of the churn and burn style. The long term, you’re not going to see a return on your investment right away. You’re probably not going to see ranking very quickly. The phone’s not going to start to ring off the hook right away. It’s going to build up slowly. It’s going to be a more upfront investment, but it’s going to last for the longer term.

Really, I want you to think about that strategy, okay? The strategy choice, so you kind of have a fork in the road here as to which direction you want to take. Again, we’re here all the time, every week. In the Q&As, you can ask for specifics on your project. It really depends on your niche. It depends on your competition. You know, if your competition is out there and your return on your investment is high, you know, you might want to do a combined strategy where you’ve got a lot of black hat stuff that you’re doing, but you also have some long-term things that you’re setting up that are completely separate from it to last for the long term. You might want to do both. Again, it really just depends on your ROI, your cash flow, how quickly of a return do you need to see, can you, you know, put some money in there and not see a return right away, and you’re sort of trading that for the long-term investment. These are all questions you’re going to need to answer for yourself as you’re thinking about your maps project. And, again, we’ve got videos directly under here, links to videos directly under this video that detail out the specifics of getting content on your site and the specifics of getting backlinks, the two main factors to website authority. Check those out. And, again, if you have any questions, you can put them directly in the thread about what type of strategy you should take, or you can jump in to one of our Q&As and ask us there.