Jan 29, 2007

"Map of" under a Google SERP listing

Today I discovered (by mistake) a cool new feature Google added. For the first result of my search Google added a "Map of" expandable link that when clicked displayed a mini-map of the address proeminently displayed on the site that was on the first position of the search. Here's how it looks (quite nice I would say):

So how do you get that mini-map under your website SERP? Well it's not that easy. These are some observations I gathered after analyzing this a little:

  • your business must be listed on the Google Maps

  • seems to be working only with US businesses (for now)

  • you have to mention your address on your website, preferable in the format Street City State Zip

  • it doesn't matter the position your website comes in the search results page, that mini-map link is added anyway

Anyway, this seems a good feature, especially if you're looking for a local business and want to see fast where that company is located.
As you probably figured, the hardest part is getting your business listed in the Google Maps. Here are the steps needed to do that:

  1. Go to Google Maps and click on Add/Edit Your Business

  2. Google will do a search, and if your company is found you'll be able to select it, otherwise you can continue adding a new business

  3. You'll be prompted to add Basic information about your business and (recommended) Additional information, where you can put your website link too.

  4. Search for categories (up to five of them) and click Continue

  5. Last step is to choose the validation method (they can send you a postcard with instructions or give you a call) and you'll be notified that "We'll send a letter containing a PIN and activation instructions to the business address associated with your listing. After you validate your listing, you may edit your Google Maps listing at any time."

It will take a while to receive the postcard, and after you receive that you can validate and have the listing appear on Google Maps.