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By John Eberhard

I find that many people don’t understand all the different kinds of listings on Google when you search for something. What they are and what they mean.

Let’s take an example of “Dentist Palmdale, CA.”

Sponsored Listings

These are the listings that are at the very top. These are companies that are paying via Google Ads to have their listing appear there. They select certain keywords that they want to advertise on, and they select a bid for how much they are willing to pay each time someone clicks on their ad.

It is easy to get your ad into the sponsored listings, but you will be competing with other advertisers. There are various factors that control whether your ad appears on page one for any given keyword and how high it appears. One of these factors is the amount of your bid.

Places Listings

These are listings of local companies in the area you included in your keyword, and the listings are displayed with a map showing where they are. These listings are what you create in your Google Business Profile account.

The problem with the Places listings is that they only show 3-4 listings, and most often there are many more advertisers than that. Note that at the bottom it says “More places” and you can click on that to see more. But you can bet that not many people do. The criteria of how those 3-4 advertisers get chosen for the top spots has changed a lot over the years. The Places listings will only appear for a search for local businesses.

Organic Listings

These are the listings that appear after the sponsored ads and Places listings. These are the “regular” listings, usually 8-10 per page, that go on for page after page. These are the listings that are affected by search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO includes:

  1. Doing keyword research to find appropriate keyword phrases for your page that have as many monthly searches as possible, and as few competing sites as possible.
  2. Writing titles and descriptions for each page of your site (using the selected keywords), and putting those titles and descriptions into the hidden code of the page (called the “metatags”). Those metatags are what you see above as the title and description that are displayed when you search for something.
  3. Building up links to your site from other sites on the web.
  4. Making sure your pages load quickly, which majorly impacts how well your pages rank for a given keyword phrase.

Oftentimes now you will see more sponsored listings at the bottom of the page. Sometimes a lot of them.

If you’d like help in getting your business to appear in Google listings or other marketing, contact us at 877-758-7797 or info@torchlight10xmarketing.com.