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Pubcon Austin 2013

How to Get “Show Map of” Tag to Appear in Google Results

Today we’ll be covering a very advanced topic, but it’s so powerful and beneficial comment it’s just too good to be ignored.

How to Get the Coveted “Show Map of” Tag

I learned this device from a power blogger in the search engine optimization business, and through some research reading Google’s Webmaster documentation. What the trick does is it enables a show map tag to appear within a Google result. The following photo will illustrate:

So what’s different about this Google result? if you look closely, you’ll see a cross with an invitation to show the map of the businesses location. This extra line in the search result can distinguish the result from other results on the page. And, as always, distinguishing factors in search results yield higher click rates.

Also, when a user clicks on the cross a map of the location is expanded to reveal a map of the location, the full address, and phone number. Again, this will yield a high increase in visitor conversions.

So How to Get the Tag?

The way to get the shell map tag is easy, but it’s a bit technical. First of all, the show map tag will obviously be of more value to a local business. In fact, a company has to have a Google local listing (a listing in the map section) as a prerequisite to displaying the show map tag.

Step One: Geo Sitemap

But a Google local listing alone will not activate the show map tag. Once the Google local listing is set up, one must also install what’s called a KML geo site map. A geo site map is a very small file, only a few lines long, which contains specially formatted information about the location of the business.

Here’s some sample data, a generic KML file:

<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2"
xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
<Document>
<name>Company Name</name>
<atom:author>
<atom:name>Author Name (may be company name)</atom:name>
</atom:author>
<atom:link href="http://www.domain.com/" />
<Placemark>
<name>Name Of Location</name>
<description>
<![CDATA[
<address>
<a href="http://www.domain.com/">Company Name</a><br />
Address: [street city, state zip]<br />
Phone: [phone]
</address>
<p>A small company description.</p>
]]>
</description>
<Point><coordinates>latitude,longitude</coordinates></Point>
</Placemark>
</Document>
</kml>

Now, you’ll notice from the sample code above that the coordinates tag requires you to know the latitude and longitude of your business address as it appears in your Google local listing. You can obtain the latitude and longitude values, as well as generate a very simple but technically acceptable KML site map by going to one of my favorite new sites, http://mygeoposition.com/. You simply type in your address and click the KML tab to get the latitude and longitude numbers. Place those numbers in the coordinates tag, modify the file to include your name information, and you’re done.

Step Two: Register KML File in Google Webmasters Account

Next, the file must be registered in a verified Google Webmaster account. If you don’t have a Google Webmaster account already, it’s an absolute must for any website owner and offers tremendous search engine optimization benefits. Registering your Geo site map in your Google Webmaster account will activate the show map tag anywhere your result shows in a Google search.

Additional benefits

In addition, the show map tag will also display on Google adwords advertisements, which can be a further boost to that program’s effectiveness.

Your KML site map will also generate a location marker in the Google Earth program. In fact, KML technology has its origins with Google Earth.

There has also been some mention, although not a universal consensus, but a Geo site map can improve the rankings within the map display in Google local results.

Good luck from TastyPlacement

20 Responses

  1. Brent Hathaway

    Just what I needed – very cool stuff about the kml files.
    I will also point out to those using the mygeoposition.com site – it creates a file with commas and spaces in the name. You will need to rename that file.

  2. This is the best composed article I have read anywhere. You could get a job as a journalst anywhere. Only two things you left out – 1. specific instructions about how to register the KML site with Google. 2. Will ht eKML map affect international listing for global companies that do not wish to be identified with a local are. But you are a brilliant wirter sir. A+.

  3. Fire

    When I try to register the kml file in google webmaster, I get the error “Unsupported file format”. Can anyone help, please?

  4. We’re having massive problems with about 200 domains previously owned by another company. All of the domains have completely the wrong business details linking underneath our organic search results (we’re in the UK and the company linked to in the “show map of” area is a USA based company). We can’t stop the details showing in the results, we’ve followed the troubleshooting guide above (which just tells us that the listing has been reviewed but nothing ever gets amended) and we’re now stuck with a load of sites with the wrong details attached to them.

    Google really need to come up with a better solution of removing the listings, as it seems that there is no easy way for the proper owner of a domains to say “hey Google – you’ve got this wrong”. All we’re told is that the original business owner can change the details which is useless as they are no longer trading. Such as mess.

  5. Hi, I have been trying to add .kml file and keep getting an error:

    Invalid XML tag

    This tag was not recognized. Please fix it and resubmit.

    Parent tag: url
    Tag: geo

    Any ideas?

  6. Many thanks for writing this tutorial, but is there an up to date version as my sitemap keeps coming up with warning errors in webmaster tools?

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