Donde Esta Mexico, Google?

July 14th, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

The realm of Local SEO can be a complex, frustrating land. A fruitful, popular land but a land where seemingly easy obstacles can quickly turn into uphill battles. And, if your client happens to be in a country other than the U.S, that hilly jog transforms into a trek up Everest… without a Sherpa.











For example, we are currently working with a Playa del Carmen hotelsclient that is interested in ramping-up their local presence. This isn’t the easiest task but it certainly isn’t impossible. A few Mexico-focused business directories will need to be sourced, Google translator will be used like it is going out of style and a Mexican-formatted Google Places listing will need to be created. Again, not simple but all in a day’s work around here.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to local SEO is that it is a newer industry and is constantly changing. This means that there can be quite a few kinks in the technology. Google is no exception to this.

After creating the client’s Google Places listing, we had the misfortune of discovering that the wrong country code was added to the listing. Typically, this would be a setback that would require another round of verification for the listing but not a deal breaker. Unfortunately, this was not a typical case. The country code had not been added incorrectly by us, but by Google and our client wasn’t the only one that was affected by this.

After some research, we discovered that listings in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico are using the USA country code (01) rather than Mexico’s country code (52) in the main search engine results page. However, the correct country code is used on the actual Place page. This is a pretty significant bug in Google Places but is par for the course in local SEO. Surely, the issue will eventually be resolved but for the time being it seems like there are going to be quite a few Mexican businesses with silent phone lines.