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Why SEO Companies and Web Design Firms no longer show up on the map in Google.

I wanted to repost the recent article from Matt McGee posted on Search Engine Land as I believe its very important and extremely relevant to our business. Recently we saw, as I am sure most online marketing companies did, a major change in Google’s Local Listings and what pulls a map up and what does not. We started seeing mixed results and after an initial statement from Google saying that there had been a glitch with a recent upgrade we waited patiently for the fix.

Its seems now that there was no “glitch” and Google actually made a conscious decision to exclude SEO companies and Web Design firms from pulling maps up for local searches. You can jump to the complete article below but this seems hardly a neutral move from the company that can “Do No Evil”. In fact, the very definition of Google’s existence is pure search and that means no filters, no biases, no favoritism. Hardly seems that way to me.

This article very interesting as I am sure Google will say that we all still do pull up in Google Local Listings and Google Onebox, its just you have to search a different way and they are right. For example

Before the change – Searching for “online marketing los angeles” would pull up the Google Onebox for local online marketing companies in Los Angeles

After the change – Searching for ” online marketing IN los angeles” now pulls up the same results, no IN, no results.

This seems like a small, insignificant change, but its actually a big deal because it tells us that Google feels like it can control what results to serve you.