Google My Business Profiles Start Ranking In Non-Branded Searches

Google’s Knowledge Graph and use of Google My Business appears to have taken a step forward in understanding search entities this week as business profiles are appearing in the sidebar for keyword based searches.

It used to be the case that Google maps would appear in the side bar for location based searches such as ‘data recovery’ (location set to Long Beach). However this kind of result gives competitors visibility to the user, as local results can be seen within Google Maps, meaning that no company takes precedence over the other for who gets clicked, when the user leaves the search results page.

However, after searching for ‘SEO Marketing Agency’ in Chrome Incognito we saw First Page Pros Google My Business profile appearing in the sidebar.

Based in Long Beach, CA we expect our website to appear in the SERPs at the top of the page but to see our Business Profile appear in the sidebar above PPC terms for a keyword based search is certainly something new that Google has launched.

What is interesting about this, is that if you search ‘SEO Marketing Agencies’ (location set to Long Beach) then Google fetches the following result.

This is interesting as Quick Rank Pro are located in Long Beach, with far more digital marketing agencies located Geographically nearer to Hunting Beach, so we changed our location in the settings to Huntington Beach and performed the same search, only to find that yet again First Page Pros appear in the Business Profile for the keyword ‘SEO Marketing Agencies’ but don’t hold the same position for ‘SEO Marketing Agency’ as held by Quick Rank Pro.

Why does Google give First Page Pros such authority for the term ‘SEO Marketing Agencies’ but then not give it for the term ‘SEO Marketing Agency’ within its own city?

When the location is set to Long Beach for the keyword ‘SEO Marketing Agencies’, First Page Pro’s website appears higher in the search results than Quick Rank Pro, who only appear on the page via a location based pin-placement. We assume that Google have placed Quick Rank Pro here as they feel they have the authority to be placed in the Business Place profile for that term.

When you perform the same search with the location set to Huntington Beach a similar situation occurs. This looks like it might be because Quick Rank Pro doesn’t have a Google My Business profile and so Google has passed the mantle on to First Page Pros for the keyword within Huntington Beach.

This can be backed-up by searching for the keyword ‘SEO Marketing Agency’ (location set to Long Beach), where First Page Pros appear with the Business Profile in the sidebar. This is because Google is ranking them second in the SERPs for the term (as seen below), with the only other result above them being Quick Rank Pro, who are located in Long Beach and aren’t relevant for the Business Profile to appear in local search for Long Beach, meaning that the highest ranking local company with a Google My Business profile are taking the space in the sidebar for relevant keyword searches.

We are also seeing similar results in mobile search with Google My Business getting a prominent position on the page, which is obviously going to result in higher CTR for the company who’s Business Profile is appearing (although it is shown below PPC listings).

Could be influencing these results at all as there is schema on our site and on the Quick Rank Pro site within the address on the homepage and Google is tying this into the Business Profile? This theory seems a little flawed as there isn’t any address schema on Quick Rank Pro, so it would seem that Google My Business, with the aid of Google Maps are the influencing factors for these results.

It looks like Google is beginning to understand the relationship between keywords and Google My Business profiles, to create a primary position with the SERP that takes precedence over PPC (on desktop) and organic search for specific keywords. Could this potentially be a way that Google could monetize one of their products within the SERPs in the future?