It’s free to be in Google Local, but you have to manually submit your information

I’ve heard many people say, “I want to make sure I show up in Google.” And I completely understand why. Google has dominant influence on the online marketplace. But many may not know that being “in Google” is really being in several different places.

Primary Google Databases:

  1. Google’s main index (organic search – free)
  2. Google’s local index (service/product plus location – free)
  3. Google’s AdWords index (pay-per-click)

When you search, results from these three databases display on the Google search page at the same time. They make up what people understand to be their results from a Google search.

For example, if you type in Web Marketing in Rock Hill, SC then you will get a page that looks like this:

Click image to enlarge.

Note that there are three sections to the results:

  1. The “sponsored links” in the right column or sidebar (and sometimes in the shaded area at the top of the main column)
  2. The small text links to the right of the map
  3. The general links that start below the map

The sponsored links to the right come from the AdWords database, you will only display there by creating an AdWords account and creating a campaign. These are pay-per-click ads, so you will be charged every time someone clicks on that listing. The cost is based on both bidding and performance.

The map links come from the Google Local database. You will only appear here by manually listing your organization with the Google Local database and confirming your physical address.

The general links starting below the Local results are the general Google results of organic search. You can manually add your site to this index, but you don’t have to. This is the Google bot, in the wild west of Google global search and index, and it will find you and index you.

Increasingly, you will need to learn of other Google databases (like GoogleBase, for example… every REALTOR should learn about this).

If you are a local business/organization, you should definitely list with Google Local. It’s free. It just takes the completion of a few tasks.