Why Google is mining local business attributes
What are business attributes, and why should local businesses care? Columnist Adam Dorfman explores.
When checking into places on Google Maps, you may have noticed that Google prompts you to volunteer information about the place you’re visiting. For instance, if you check into a restaurant, you might be asked whether the establishment has a wheelchair-accessible entrance or whether the location offers takeout. There’s a reason Google wants to know: attributes.
Attributes consist of descriptive content such as the services a business provides, payment methods accepted or the availability of free parking — details that may not apply to all businesses. Attributes are important because they can influence someone’s decision to visit you.
Google wants to set itself up as a go-to destination of rich, descriptive content about locations, which is why it crowdsources business attributes. But it’s not the only publisher doing so. For instance, if you publish a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp, you’ll be asked a similar battery of questions but with more details, such as whether the restaurant is appropriate for kids, allows dogs, has televisions or accepts bitcoins.
Many of these publishers are incentivizing this via programs like Google’s Local Guides, TripAdvisor’s Badge Collections, and Yelp’s Elite Squad because having complete, accurate information about locations makes each publisher more useful. And being more useful means attracting more visitors, which makes each publisher more valuable.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.