Why You Want to Claim Your Business on Google Maps: An Object Lesson

February 9th, 2012 by Search Influence Alumni

Recently, I decided that life would be simpler if I got a Mohawk — but a nice Mohawk, one carefully mown and primped into shape by a professional.  I looked up my options with Google maps. This way, I could see where the salon my friend recommended me was located, how far it was out of my daily route, and what other closer options were. Google Maps gave me a pincushion map of the New Orleans area, and I started browsing each salon along my route from work to home.

Some listings had scant information and required me to turn to a Yelp page for the pertinent information. It’s not a huge inconvenience, but really, there aren’t many reasons you shouldn’t claim your business on Google Maps and fix up the listing with all the basic information. Most people turn to this tool for directions from point A to point B, and many take it for granted that whatever they need to find in the world will somehow be notated accurately on there already.

For example, Osama Bin Laden’s Hideout got its own little thumbtack on Google Maps’ canvas almost instantly its location was revealed to the public (yes, Google finds everything). Its corresponding Places page, though not a business, has acted as the Internet’s gathering point to gaze upon the building in question and post roughly 1600 snarky reviews about its interior and past owner.

However, if Osama’s hideout had been a business of inviting snipers to give their best go at him, he would have had a tough time getting any visitors to his locale.  Here is a side-by-side comparison of what his location tag looks like compared to a bonafide business listing.


Three things to note. First, Osama’s hideout does not have his street address listed. This would make (and did) him very hard to find. Second, he has no contact information. How would potential customers ever know his business hours or rates? They can’t even visit his website, since that is the third thing he does not have listed.

If Osama had felt like optimizing his search results, he would have probably endeavored to go through the admittedly involved process of claiming his business on Google Maps.  The effort is worth it, since most people looking for a business will inevitably want to know your location and get driving directions. Might as well make it convenient for your potential clients before they even set foot through the door.