I certainly am far from the first to make this observation. I’ve seen many posts on the subject, but ALL seem to miss the real game changer here. To their credit, perhaps they are just keeping the cat in the bag…permission to hate me after this post.
Anyone who has been in the Local SEO arena for long enough has probably tried to build a
backlink to their formally known, Google Places page. Hell, I pounded my page w/ forum profile, social bookmark & blog posts back in the day. At the time, SEO was still new to me, and I hadn’t pieced together the fact that the Google Places page was not indexed, and a result, such tactics were futile. Today however, with the recent introduction of Google+ Local pages, we now have a indexed page. Don’t believe me? Take your listing CID number (the string of digits) and throw ‘em in Google.com. Note, this is not yet the case for .ca. You SHOULD find your two pages: /digits & /digits/about the former redirects to the latter it seems.
So, we’ve got at least 1 indexed page, which in theory means if we build backlinks to it, rankings will come. Right? It also means that the content may affect said rankings too. Right? Yes. Like your website, you should now be able to build backlinks to your Google+ Local page, conduct On-site SEO and have it improve your rankings.
Remember my post re what you write in your description field no longer mattering. Forget that. Optimize it.
My buddy Darren, creator of the infamous Local Citation Finder asked me to pitch a Local SEO tip. He is speaking at MozCon (Lucky SOB) and suggested I provide a couple tips on stuffing reviews w/ keywords. Indeed it improved rankings back in the Google Places days. More interesting though, is why it does now, which contributes to the basis of the tip I decided to provide. Why does it help? Copy a sentence from one of your reviews and search it in Google.com. See? Indexed. Because we are so limited in our on page Google+ Local copy, reviews are now your copy. Stuff ‘em. If it were me, I’d like to have a keyword, my biz name, and my city name in each. Don’t skimp either, the more content the better. Keep in mind also, once the review falls below the fold, it is no longer indexed. You’ve got 6 reviews above the fold, so make ‘em count folks.
Finally, while I haven’t played around with it yet, your biz name is your title tag, so I would imagine stuffing it w/ your keyword will help even more than before. Also there seems to be something of a meta D, but I am not sure how to get something to show up there. Something to do with sharing…
Remember, all of this is in theory. I have been testing it for a couple weeks, and intend to wait a bit longer before I say it works or not – if I choose to do so.
So my TIP: Google+ Local pages are indexed in a way Google Places pages never were. You now need to think of everything on your places page like a website. The title is indexed. The description is indexed. The reviews are indexed. Every word counts. Finally, like a website, build backlinks to it. Test, test and test some more. Push the boundaries people!