Google’s New Maps Filters

Google is automatically applying filters to Google Maps searches. In this video excerpt from our Office Hours session, we cover what this change means to you and your clients …

Google Maps Tip Transcript

ERIC SHANFELT: Hey guys, welcome to this week’s Office Hours here for Local Marketing Institute VIPs. Some cool stuff going on this week, we’re going to talk about. We want to talk a little bit here about new Google’s automated search filters. If you have any questions, feel free to put them into the question box here in the live webinar. If you’re watching this archived, just go ahead and put them in the comment’s area. Let’s kick this off and talk a little bit about something with Google’s automated Google Maps search filters.

If you don’t know about this, let’s just do a generic search on Google Maps. I did a search for attorneys in Denver, Colorado and if you look at the local business results, it’s going to obviously serve up the normal three pack. Let’s say someone types and says, “Hey, show me the best attorneys in Denver, Colorado.” It’s interesting, this is where those reviews are going to become important. The four and five stars because best automatically applies the filter, so when you type in best attorneys or something like that, it’s automatically going to say, “Only show the results if they have a 4.0 rating or higher,” so back over here you can see this showed Fairfield and Woods with no reviews, but we said best, it’s only going to show four star reviews and higher.

Let’s say another Google Maps filter. Let’s say you had an emergency and you wanted to find a plumber that was open right now, so Denver plumbers are that open right now. What that does is it automatically applies this filter to say for the open now. It’s just another way that Google’s interpreting what people type in their search and automatically filtering out results. You could also say, “What about Denver plumbers that are open 24-7?” It would apply the filter open 24 hours automatically without anybody having to actually select the filter, it just does it.

There are a couple of other filters that are built in here. In restaurants, we have cuisine. We have price point and hours as well, so let’s say we were to do fancy restaurants. Google’s interpreting that as meaning probably pretty expensive, so just by typing in fancy restaurants, Google’s automatically applied the Google Maps filter of three to four dollars, which by the way, the dollar signs actually have no real dollar range attached to them. It’s just, if you think you’re a cheap place, a sort of cheap place, a relatively expensive place, or a really expensive place. It’s completely subjective.

You can do the same opposite, hey show me cheap restaurants. Cheap restaurants, again is showing you restaurants that are one dollar sign. The cheapest you can get out there. Google’s trying to do more and more to interpret what people just type in and interpret that with the filters they have in place. One other thing I want to point out here is you can combine these together. I want to find the best cheap restaurants in Denver that are open now. Google’s taken all those and searched for the best ones, which are 4.0 rating, the best cheap ones, which are a one dollar sign and the ones that are open now, just like that.

Is there anything that we can do about this? Not really. It’s just this is why though it’s very important when you’re working with your listing on Google that you make sure you’ve got the right office hours in place. You’ve got the right metadata. Just all the various data you can get out of your business, make sure that that is as accurate as possible.

A couple questions on this. Does schema markup effect these filters? This is more taking off of what the information you have in your Google My Business listing, so your office hours in Google My Business listing. You can self identify the one to four dollar signs and obviously the ratings are taken from Google’s ratings, it’s not reading the ratings you may have on your own website.

Eric Shanfelt
Eric is the Founder and CEO of Local Marketing Institute. He has 25 years of experience in digital marketing and has been the Chief Digital Officer for several B2B and consumer media companies. Eric has a passion for local businesses and focuses on practical digital strategies to help them attract more customers, build customer loyalty, and grow their business.