djcoppedge

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Hello fellow local enthusiasts!

I've been racking my brain and experimenting on how to get the "sold here:" feature to appear in the 3-pack for local businesses. When the news broke back in early December, there weren't any details on how to get this to appear (just a lot of speculation), and I don't think anyone has come up with anything solid.

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From what I can tell, it is NOT related to google shopping or local inventory ads. What seems unique about this is that its more definitive than "Their website mentions" and not as definitive as "In stock" which appears sometimes. (pretty sure they have to participate in google shopping/local inventory for "in stock" to appear). There seems to be a pretty strong advantage to having the SERP tell customers your location does indeed carry a certain product category.

The most feasible thing I can think of is that is's powered by people answering the questions that appear when you click the "Know this place? Answer quick questions" link in a local result. These questions have shifted from "amenity" based questions to "product category" based questions (ie: Can you get showshoes here). I ran a test where myself and fellow marketers answered "yes" to the "can you get snowshoes here" question to see if we could get it to appear for a local business (about 8 of us), and then Google started asking about different product categories. The "sold here" for snowshoes never populated though.

If anyone else has done any testing or has uncovered the secret behind getting this feature to appear, I would live some insight!

Thanks!
-Dave
 

Phil Rozek

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@djcoppedge, I'd wager that your "Know this place?" theory is correct. I'd also guess that:

(1) Google wants answers from a greater variety of people, including some Local Guides and/or people who wrote a Google review of that place, over the long haul, and that

(2) it takes a while for Google to apply those suggestions and give you a "Sold here." Otherwise people could too easily manipulate those answers.

I've not done any testing that you haven't, but I answer those GMB questions all the time, and have noticed that Google really spitballs. They'll ask questions like whether my mechanic serves falafel, or they'll ask me to describe the ambiance of a gas station.
 
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JoyHawkins

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@djcoppedge with the 8 accounts you used, had any of them actually visited the store in the past? Someone on Twitter said that could be a factor. I'm testing this on a store I visit frequently to see if I can get it to trigger.
 

djcoppedge

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@JoyHawkins a couple of us had visited in the past. I've been answering the questions as much as I can every time I go to a retailer to see if I can get it to trigger as well, and so far, no luck. The interesting thing is that some retailers seemed to benefit as soon as the feature was launched, while others (of similar size and popularity) are not surfacing it.
 

djcoppedge

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Looks like it's influenced specifically by push notifications rather than just going in proactively - which unfortunately means there might not be a way to develop much of a strategy to impact this due to dependency on actual users receiving requests for info.

Key distinction being "prompted to answer questions after engaging with the business"

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JoyHawkins

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I get these notifications constantly so I'll definitely be able to test this out. Adding to my list :)
 

Jeannie

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@djcoppedge, I'd wager that your "Know this place?" theory is correct. I'd also guess that:

(1) Google wants answers from a greater variety of people, including some Local Guides and/or people who wrote a Google review of that place, over the long haul, and that

(2) it takes a while for Google to apply those suggestions and give you a "Sold here." Otherwise people could too easily manipulate those answers.

I've not done any testing that you haven't, but I answer those GMB questions all the time, and have noticed that Google really spitballs. They'll ask questions like whether my mechanic serves falafel, or they'll ask me to describe the ambiance of a gas station.

We've done the same and are surprised at what questions are asked. Sometimes they don't really seem to relate to the business at hand. I am guessing that there is quite a bit of testing and tweaking going on in this area of how the questions and answers are drawn.

Do you think that its possible that our efforts are evaluated/used by the relevance of what we are known for, trust elements, contact points, of business name/category, and/or location prominence?
 

brettmandoes

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This is super surprising. I was expecting it to be some obscure schema implementation 🙃
 

djbaxter

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Facebook does the same thing.
 

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