Google Places is currently the most important online resource for dentists looking to attract new patients though the Internet. Places puts dentists on a map based on the location of the person making the search. So a person typing dentist into the search box in Boise will see a map of Boise with seven dentists listed. The question then becomes how does Google decide which dentists get listed on the map?
SEOmoz did some research and came up with some interesting results. The research report is linked below. The report itself is rather technical but there are some interesting results that have relevance to dentists. The chart shown here indicates that the most significant factor was number of related maps. Also important were user reviews and other web references.
BTW the authors make it clear they do not have any real information on the Google ranking algorithms all they are reporting are co-relations not causes.
Never the less interesting. HT Jason Lipscombe
In Places results, domain-wide link popularity factors seem more important than page-specific ones. We’ve heard that links aren’t as important in local/places and the data certainly suggest that’s accurate (see the full report to compare correlations), but they may not be completely useless, particularly on the domain level.
Using the city and business type keyword in the page title and the listing name (when claiming/editing your business’s name in the results) may give a positive boost. Results using these keywords seem to frequently outrank their peers.