Updated Feb 25, 2016: Updated the URL in #6 since the old one stopped working. Also added a bonus troubleshooting tip for this step.
In the Local SEO world there are a few Google URLs you should know because they will make your life easier. Here is a list of the ones I commonly use when helping users over at the Google My Business Forum
You’ll need to know the CID for the business for a few of these to work. To find the CID, visit the G+ page for the business, go to the About Tab, right click and select “View Page Source”, press CTRL + F and search “CID”. It will be a long string of numbers within quotation marks.
1. How to get to the MapMaker profile attached to a G+ page: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&cid=
2. How to get to the Google Maps view: http://maps.google.com/maps?cid=
3. How to view a cached version of G+ pages: Everyone knows you can throw the URL into Google search and click the little drop-down button to show “cached”. However, this brings up a blank screen for any Google Plus URLs. You just need to add &strip=1 to the end and you can view all the text of a Google Plus listing as Google cached it the last time they crawled it.
4. How to see if Google has filtered your site: Add &filter=0 to the end of the URL of the search query.
Example: Compare https://www.google.ca/search?q=Frozen+Yogurt+toronto and https://www.google.ca/search?q=Frozen+Yogurt+toronto&filter=0 and see how many different results Google filtered since they were too similar to the results they kept (notice all the Yelp listings that got filtered!)
5. Troubleshooting for a business that is located in a different country than you? If you are in Canada, for example, and try to visit Google.com, it redirects you to Google.ca so what you would see is going to be different than someone searching from the USA. A way around this is to go to www.google.com/ncr (no country redirect) first and then go to the Google URL for that country (Google.ca, Google.in, Google.co.uk etc)
6. Want to know the rankings of just the local listings (omitting organic)? Use this URL and insert what you want to search instead of the keywords I’ve listed (restaurants uxbridge on): https://www.google.com/search?tbm=lcl&q=restaurants+uxbridge+on&gl=us. Make sure you put + marks between each word.
Bonus Tip: Insert the business phone number into this URL to find out which listing most likely has the strongest ranking power if there are multiple listings that exist for your business. Example: There are 8 listings for this phone number, but you can see the strongest one that would most likely rank by looking here: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=lcl&q=919-876-2427&gl=us
7. How to get rid of personalized search. Ever wonder why you see sites you visit all the time ranked higher than anyone else does? Add &pws=0 to the URL string
8. How to get straight to the Google phone support page (without answering questions first): https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_c2c_na?hl=en&rd=1#cft=5
About the author Joy Hawkins