This has been a big year for changes with Google as they try to figure out how to change from a purely mathematical search engine into something more socially controlled.
They are reaching out into the real world trying to gather data on how we all use the internet when we're away from our computers, i.e. mobile.
On June 20, 2011 they changed the way Google Mobile search works. If you allow google.com to detect your location automatically they will show you a list of popular nearby places. They've made a specific change to how m.google.com looks so you have fewer taps on your screen to find popular places.
Their top places usually include restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, but their default options on the next screen usually include "jewelry shops."
The phrase "jewelry shops" seems odd to us since we'd not yet seen that in any of our normal tracking. But the phrase "jewelry store" is always found in keyword tracked lists.
The stores they show in the local mobile results don't always include stores with mobile websites; in fact, not even all the venues listed in the results include owner-verified places. The list will include any place as long as Google feels the store is what you are looking for and it's close enough to you.
In December 2010, SEOmoz.org published their findings on a Google Places research project. We've reviewed their great work and verified the following items on our own.
We've confirmed that if a jewelry store verifies their business, they should make the following changes to their Places listing:
1. Include their town name in their listing name.
2. Include their target keyword phrase in their listing name.
Smith Jewelers, Totowa Jewelry Store for Engagement Rings
This is a small, easy change that will help your regular Google Places listing and the mobile version.
Give it a try and leave us some feedback about this post.