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So a week has passed since dozens of dealers found out that their Google Places pages were updated inadvertantly by a massive update by Google.
The original goal of this update was to "claim" and/create listings for dealers that had never claimed their Google Places pages.
The blogs have been filled with critical commentary regarding the update which GM participated in with Google, but as we have come to find out, the update impacted more than just GM stores.
For many dealers their listing is in a state of "purgatory"; not publicly fixed although their Google Places login shows the correct data.
Without any direct conversations with GM, I think that GM recognized that a percentage of their dealer body was missing free traffic generated by Google Places. Their intent was to help their dealer body get more traffic, leads, and calls.
For most dealers, Google Places ranks in the top 3 referring websites to a dealer's main domain. In fact, I have clients that receive over 4,000 referral visits a month from Google Places.
When dealers properly update all online directories with correct information and website address, traffic does noticably increase. This is all fine, as long as the updates to public directories are done correctly.
Today I conducted a training workshop in Detroit and I would estimate that at least 15% of the dealerships represented in the room had zero reviews. I estimate that over 50% had incomplete data and improper categories.
Basically, the attendees today did not know how to inspect their Google Places page. Do you? Are you sure?
The real life examples in the classroom today gave some insights into the "justification" by OEM's that dealers needed help. Of course, this would have been welcomed if Google didn't touch claimed or fully optimized listings.
Without the proper optimization of Google Places, dealers are missing valuable free traffic and phone calls. If dealers were better trained on the value of Google Places, then maybe this global update project would never have been scheduled.
I am also sure that all dealers reading this blog post would like to get as much free traffic as possible. Especially, local pre-qualified traffic that Google Places can generate.
It is clear that things are still a mess for some dealers from the calls I get from clients and friends.
If your dealership is unclear on how to properly optimize their Google Places listing, I'll be more than happy to send you a PDF document that outlines what you need to do.
Please take action to inspect and optimize your Google Places listing with this document in hand so that the need for OEM's to step in to update your primary business listing will be avoided.
Request the PDF by sending an email to me by clicking on this link:
I know it will help!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
P.S. Have you registered for the 2012 Automotive Boot Camp yet?