Love it or hate it, Google Places and local search are here to stay. Since it is our goal here at Moore & Scarry to provide our clients with the best representation online, here is our guide to how Google Places works and how we can help you get an on Google Places!
The story of Google Places begins with their 2006 Patent Application Generating Structured Information. The application abstract states:
“Structured and/or unstructured data about enterprises are acquired from one or more sources such as commercial data providers, enterprise web sites, and/or directory web sites. Strings are extracted from the unstructured data. The strings contain key, value pairs describing facts about the enterprises. The extracted strings are parsed to normalize the keys and values and place them in a machine-understandable structured representation. Some keys and/or values cannot be normalized. The facts are clustered with the enterprise to which they pertain. Normalized facts from different sources are compared and confidence levels and/or weights are assigned to the facts. These confidence levels and weights are used to select the facts that are displayed on a page for the enterprise in a directory.”
In English, Google is stating that they crawl third party websites for information that can be extracted in a “machine-understandable structured representation.” Such information would include business names, phone numbers, and addresses that share a relatively consistent format across the web.