Google Places Performance Update Explained

What Is A Google Places Performance Update and what can it tell you about how your local business listing is performing?

A Google Places performance update is a 30 day overview of the effectiveness of all business listings that you manage under your Google account.

This report will include how many impressions and actions your listing has generated and also what your top search phrases are for each individual listing including how many impressions each word or phrase has generated, it also provides and list of your top performing listings should you manage multiple listings under one account.

What Are Google Places Impressions?

Google Places ImpressionsAn impression is a count of each time your listing has appeared in a Google search however depending on where in the results your listing appeared it is possible that the user searching did not see your listing.

In the example shown the local listing for Computer Cheap has appeared in Google searches 385 times. Therefore generally the higher the number of impressions your listing or listings have, the better, as this means that your listing is appearing on Google more frequently and creating greater awareness of your company in searches.

What Are Google Places Actions?

Google Places ActionsActions are very important in terms of how “relevant” or “popular” your listing is, as each individual action represents where someone has shown interest in your listing.

This can happen in two ways, either by clicking through to your website or to your places page for more information (e.g. if you have 5 actions on your listing then 5 users have selected to click through to either your website or the listing information page).

This implies that they have found your listing to be the most relevant to their search, perhaps due to position in the results, familiarity of your brand, ease of access or convenient in terms of location.

Top Search Queries – What Are They And What Do They Tell Me About My Listing?

Google Places Top Search QueriesA top search query is a word or phrase that your listing is appearing for the most, these are very important in terms of optimisation of your listing as these words or phrases allow you to see how relevant the searches are that your listing appears for.

For example; if you are a computer retailer and you’re appearing for “houses for sale” this is completely irrelevant and while it may have resulted in an impression it will most likely not have resulted in an action.

Whereas if you were appearing for “computers for sale” this is a very relevant search term and may well result in an action as your listing will have been what the user has been searching for.

The top search queries also allow you to see how many times you have appeared for a particular word or phrase, these figures add up to your total number of impressions.

Monitoring the ratio of the actions to the impressions helps experienced marketeers understand the phrases that are most likely to generate engagement and hopefully sales.

What Are My Top Performing Listings?

If you have multiple Google places listings managed under one Google account then you will receive a list of your top performing listings within the Google places performance update.

This list gives you a quick overview of the listings that you manage that have the greatest number of impressions and actions and will give you an insight into how well your listings are doing.

How Is Your Google Place Performance?

If you have a Google Places listing post your click through rate here (Impressions/Actions) as a comment so that other Google Places users can get an idea of what can be achieved, I may even offer a prize for the lowest of some free help!

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3 thoughts on “Google Places Performance Update Explained

  1. Hey Andrew
    Thanks for the helpful info. Indeed -One Important key factor is the “top search queries”- but I would like to offer a more broad overview on this section for all the business owners out there. If you’re place page Key word queries doesn’t show you your targeted Key words, it means that Google doesn’t classified your place page as you wish. In cases as these, you should update your Place page categories with more relevant key words. Replacing the categories with the needed key words will solve this problem in about 2-4 weeks.

  2. A quick related question on timing of updates…. Firstly how often to google update their places listing and secondly how often do they” pull” in reviews?
    Also have you noticed much spamming with this? I find that a lot of business in my area are obviously using the same so called “expert” for their google places listing. The appear to getting a rating or two on their google places pages daily and they are all being reviewed by the same people all of whom have French name in an English speaking area!

    • Thanks for your comment and question Luke. Google updates from a number of different sources and therefore there isn’t a simple answer to your first query. We have found that most related data gets indexed within 4-6 weeks but in some cases we’ve found it can be as much as 6 months!

      This is also the case for reviews and will depend on the individual review site, each seems to update in different cycles as far as we can tell, some more frequent than others.

      With regard to spam comments, Google doesn’t seem to do a great deal to address multiple self-reviews automatically simply because their systems are just not as capable as a human in identifying these things. However, feedback from users in the form of the ‘Report a problem’ does highlight potential spam to Google and at e-mphasis we very much endorse this self-policing approach.

      For those competing against the self-reviewers and also for the victims of negative reviews it can be very frustrating, but our experience shows that using Google Places ethically does provide long term rewards over a black-hat approach.

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