June 10th, 2009 | Published in Google Merchant
Usually, I do my shopping online - I can browse from the comfort of my home or office and compare across multiple stores before I purchase. Occasionally, however, when I'm heading out on a trip or I have to buy a last-minute birthday present, I don't have time to wait for a product to ship. To help users with this problem, we've begun experimenting with exposing store locations in Google Product Search, and we'd like to invite you to participate. We think this will help users find nearby store locations, and help merchants get foot traffic into their stores.
To participate in this experiment, all you need to do is submit your store locations to the Google Local Business Center, which allows business owners to control the content of their business listings as they appear in Google Search and Google Maps.
Submitting your store locations to the Google Local Business Center is easy. First, go to www.google.com/lbc. Then:
- If you're able to verify ownership of your store locations by receiving a phone call or a postcard at each location, please add and verify your stores individually by using the "Add new business" option.
- If you have 10 or more stores, or if you're unable to individually verify all of your locations, you can bulk upload your listings as unverified data by choosing the "Upload a data file" option. Then, fill out this form to help us associate your Local Business Center data with your Google Base account.
Regardless of which method you use to submit your data, use the same email address you use to log in to Google Product Search.
As a bonus, the Google Local Business Center just released the Local Business Center dashboard, a completely free feature that allows business owners to view a range of information about how Google users find their business listings on Google - from the number of clicks your listing received to the zip codes from which users are driving when they request directions to your store. Currently, this dashboard is only available to business owners who can verify each store location via phone or postcard.