Have you seen the new offering from Google for local search? Unless you live in Austin, Portland, Madison or San Diego, chances are that you haven’t. Google’s new “Beta” Local Directory Portals are a bit of a mix between their place pages and Yelp. They let users look at all of the businesses in a city in one place (similar to Yelp’s model).
Here is a screenshot of Google Portland.
You can sort by category, and then drill down even further using the filters. While there is no automotive category yet (the tool seems to lean a bit more towards tourists/visitors), it’s another example of how important Google Places is now and will be in the future.
These local portals are pulling their results directly from Google Places listings, including the reviews. In fact, one way to sort is by rating. If your dealership doesn’t have a lot of good, quality reviews, you may not appear above the fold.
If you haven’t already, I can’t stress enough how important it is to claim your listing and make sure it is as complete as possible. This means photos, videos, categories, reviews, and information is completely filled out and accurate.
Google’s Local Portals are just another example of how Google is relying more and more on the information in their Places, and why your auto dealership needs to have an accurate representation in the Places realm. How do you think this new offering will impact the local auto dealer industry?