Mike Blumenthal recently drew attention to the lack of category choices we’re all going to have to get used to in the new Google+ Local dashboard. Previously, we’d be able to create an additional 4 custom categories to describe our business services more accurately besides the one that Google provides. And we did so in hopes of giving us a better chance of showing up for those keywords.
This lack of choice has gotten a lot of Local SEO’s up in arms because as Mike points out:
“Categories are a critical piece of how Google determines the relevance (not rank) of a listing in local search and there are so few categories that the consumer search results will likely not show businesses that should be shown.”
Who am I to argue with “Professor Maps” as the Local SEO world affectionately calls him (and he deserves that distinction), but this just doesn’t make sense to me. I must be missing something. Isn’t that like saying Google doesn’t know what a web page is relevant for without the meta keywords tag it deprecated so long ago? If we rely on custom-made categories to group businesses into buckets, then aren’t we turning over the wheel to reckless drivers?