Google maps is a service developed by Google with which you can find the exact location of cities, businesses, hotels or attractions on the Internet or through apps on your mobile. You can think of Google Maps as a vertical search for locations. Both satellite data and aerial images are used for visualization. With Street view, which is integrated into Google Maps, you can also see roads and houses in certain regions. Navigation and route planning are also possible with Google Maps.
Google Maps was introduced in early 2005 by Google Inc. You can use it to find locations on a digital map. The presentation and the level of detail of your satellite data were successively optimized, as the data is constantly updated.
With the route planner, Google Maps is no longer just a simple map service, but also a online navigation software. In 2007, Google introduced the option of saving custom itineraries or maps or showing your current location. Since 2008, the map service also displays data from real time traffic that can be viewed directly on the map in many countries. For navigation, you can not only choose the best route on foot or by car, but you can also plan your trip based on the availability of public transport.
As part of the Hummingbird updates, Google optimized the functionality and interface of Google Maps. At the same time, some functions have been linked to Google Plus. If you are registered with Google Plus, you can receive notes on the recommendations of your friends on the map.
Other functions of Google Maps:
- Google Indoor it has been enabled since 2011. This feature allows you to navigate inside buildings. In the US, you can use Google Indoor with the Android app, for example in large shopping malls. The German Museum in Munich can be visited online since 2012.
- Since 2007, Google transit is part of Google Maps. It allows public transport providers with local or long-distance services or airlines to provide standardized data on schedules. In this way, you can plan your trips in even more detail with Google Maps. For example, since 2012 Google offers integrated schedules for the Madrid metro. Since the release of version 4.1 of Android ("Jelly Bean") in 2012, data obtained from Google Maps can now be used to Google Now. It can show you the applicable search results on mobile devices before an actual search. A prior requirement is that your mobile or tablet be equipped with an Android or iOS operating system.
Google Maps for business
Businesses can edit their entries on Google Maps since 2007 through the bussiness center from Google Plus Local. For this, any entry must first be verified with a PIN. Currently the entries in Google Maps can be edited and managed with a commercial listing verified in Google Plus. For SEA with Google AdWords, it is recommended to keep your business listing on Google Maps or Google Plus Local, as this data can also be used as a business promotion duration for AdWords ads.
To better illustrate the access routes, sections of maps with the location of the company can be integrated through an HTML code on a website. This improves the usability of a company's website.
Google collected company data from directories such as "Yellow Pages" and integrated it into its mapping service.
Incorporation of Google Maps in the SERPs
Since the Google Venice update in 2012, regional Google Maps search results are displayed in the SERPs. Google intended to reinforce the relevance of search results with this addition. Companies can be referenced in Google search results inclusive if they don't have their own website and they have the possibility of being present.
Google Street View
Google Street View was an additional service to Google Maps introduced in 2007, which was also integrated into Google Earth. Users can see a 360 ° panorama of a road or location in certain countries and cities. The photos for this purpose are taken by means of a car camera mainly designed by Google. This technique was criticized in many countries because many people believe that violates your privacy.
Google Maps and SEO
Since the incorporation of the results of the Google Maps database in the SERPs, this map service has become of interest to SEOs. In this way, it is feasible for a company that operates regionally to show up very prominently in the results without ranking high with its home page directly for a generic definition.
At the same time as maintaining the business listing database, Google Plus Local user reviews are important tools to strengthen both the ranking and the attractiveness of the company's entry in the SERPs. Thus, it should be part of a regional SEO strategy to invite customer feedback from your business on Google Plus.