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Free google places listings with no ratings or reviews having priority over adwords express

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Type of business: Taxi service

Name: American Taxicab Augusta

Address: 1912 Central Avenue Augusta GA 30904

Web:Americantaxicab.biz

Two months ago for some reason during google updates, we discovered that our free listing ranking moved from 2nd to fourth or fifth place on google places listing although we have five star ratings and many positive reviews while those at the top #1 to-#3 have no ratings or reviews on their listings .Despite the fact that we advertised through different media,we lost a great deal of business because of this lower ranking on google.We then decided to implement adwords express .To our surprise, the ads run for few hours of the day most of the time especially in the morning and few times around evenings but dissappear at night during peak hours that we really need it.Another surprising observation made is that eventhough it claimed that we receive clicks,the most shocking part of it is that those clicks were very ineffective for our company's productivity because those people clicking could only be asking for questions and by the time real clients needed us,the ad had already disappeared and the real calls go to those with free listings on first and second places on google places without ratings or reviews.This is based on our personal analysis. .In taxi industry,this google adwords is not been very helpful as expected especially due to the fact that we cant control how and when we want the ads to run in contrary to the google rule of control possibility of the ads run.Despite the fact that we spend few hundreds of dollars  monthly while those with no ratings or reviews with free lisitngs are the ones reaping all the gains.Is there something we are missing here? Is there something that google is trying to show while they are giving those with no ratings or reviews and free listing the free pass.Somebody please tell us why some companies that do not pay google are getting all the free rides and clients cos of their placement on the listing while those paying (regardless of the amount) are still not benefitting as they would expect .Almighty google .We need an explanation please.Thank you for your contribution

 
 
 
 
 
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Free google places listings with no ratings or reviews having priority over adwords express

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
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Hey There,

 

It sounds like there are a few things going on here. First, your organic rank in Google's local results has decreased and second, AdWords Express is providing little control, therefore zero return.

 

I will touch on your Google Places listing, but as this is an AdWords help forum, I will focus on AdWords Express for the majority of this post.

 

Google ranks it's local results on a variety of factors, not only reviews and ratings, although I do believe these play a big roll. A few other factors to consider: the searchers actual location in reference to your physical address and the amount of accurate citations your business has across the internet. I would do a bit of research on how to optimize your Google Places page if you are concerned with the rank - good article by WhiteSpark.

 

AdWords Express, in it's nature and purpose, does provide little control. You can only target predefined categories and then are subject to show your ad for search queries that Google deems appropriate, whether they are or not. If you want more control, I would suggest investing in Google AdWords search network.

 

Google AdWords not only offers control over the search queries that trigger your ads, but also allows you to determine at what times of the day you want your ads to show. You can even automatically increase bids at certain times of the day to try and increase your ads position and exsposure. I would also suggest taking advantage of AdWords device targeting option and ad extension features.

 

It seems that in the taxi business, many potential customers would be searching for your business, or more importantly, your business's phone number via a mobile device while out and about. Google AdWords allows you to target specific devices (device targeting) while at the same time showing a click-to-call phone number (ad extensions) so that customers can call immediately. So, for example, you could target the keyword 'i need a taxi' to people searching from mobile devices between 10pm and 2am.

 

Lastly, I would recommend that you have conversion tracking in place to measure whether or not these efforts are providing return.

 

Thanks,

BlueIon

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author americantaxicab
September 2015

Re: Free google places listings with no ratings or reviews having priority over adwords express

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Bluelon....Thanks so much for your insight and advice.I am trying to switch to adwords already after reading your input to this discussion.You are the man.However I am still finding difficulties in getting the rank to first or second place.Who do you think can get this done even if they require certain fees for the effort?

Re: Free google places listings with no ratings or reviews having priority over adwords express

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hey There,

 

There are plenty of digital marketing agencies out there that help with search engine optimization and inparticular, 'local' search engine optimization. I would do a bit of research around to find a good fit. I will advise, many of these services are not cheap... but what I have found that in this industry, you will get what you pay for. So, if you want it done professionally I would go with a well known firm or someone with a good reputation.

 

Thanks,

 

BlueIon

Re: Free google places listings with no ratings or reviews having priority over adwords express

Zee Community Manager
Community Manager
# 5
Zee Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi americantaxicab,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience on AdWords Express. Let us know if you need any help to start with AdWords. There are some useful threads that you might want to read: 

 

1. Starting with AdWords

2. Learn from other user

 

@Bluelon: Great answer! Thanks.

 

Zee

Zee
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