Facebook Places: How Will They Affect Local SEO?

Facebook Places

On November 12, Facebook quietly launched Facebook Places, a long awaited local directory. This directory has been built on Local Business Facebook Pages and is ultimately based on reviews. That actually shows that local reviews are far more important for local SEO than we might have thought.

How Do Facebook Places Work?

Facebook Places hompage is solely offering the users to enter a location they want to search places in. It has a built-in automatic feature that tracks the browser language and IP address and offers the content accordingly.

Facebook places homepage

Facebook places homepage

The downside is, you can not seach for “Chinese restaurants Prague” or whatever I will intuitively do. You can just search for a location, like “Prague” and then filter the results according to your liking.

Facebook Places: Restaurants in Prague

This listing holds the highest number of positive ratings in the category

What’s obvious, places with the most and the best user ratings rank top. Facebook generously offers a large room for presentation.

Things to do in Prague: Facebook Places

We can expect the Places to rank organically

The generated URLs are clearly optimised for users searching for “Things to do in…, ” so we can expect the listings to rank organically and bring a great deal of traffic from search engines.

Other Features

Facebook Places: Map

Map Feature

Picky users may also use the map feaure and browse other places with lower ratings using the feature “See all…” Also, places in nearby cities are available on a map below.

Three Key Take-Aways for Local Businesses

  • If you are a local business, create a Local Business Facebook page
  • Provide as much information as possible on the Page including relevant keywords (e.g. “Thai restaurant”)
  • Use multiple channels to promote the call for positive reviews: Web, email, on-site offline, social media profiles, pages, videos etc.

For me, this is a very logical step by Facebook, trying to level up with Google Places. Clearly, Facebook will strive for more information provided by users to be able to show more relevant results to complicated queries. Most likely, we will be pushed into using Facebook Open Graph features. This feature will, however, greatly lift up the yet very high importance of local and mobile SEO.

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Martin Kůra

Martin a.k.a. @HermanTinkura helps international and local companies enter new markets by creating a vast multi-cultural SEO strategy. Martin writes for SEMrush and likes to explore different cultures of the world, which is his favorite part of his work.

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