I received this question last week about linking to a city on Google Maps for SEO.
Does it help to link to a city on a Google Maps for SEO?
I thought this was an interesting question and I found myself thinking more about, so I thought I would put my thoughts down on paper (or my blog!).
I interpret the question as referencing something we refer to as location signals in our city page SEO workflow.
A location signal is an outbound link from a city page that helps to reinforce the city you are targeting and optimizing for with SEO.
For example, if you have an office in Sugar Land (a suburb of Houston) but you want your business to also rank in Google for “Houston” related terms, you would build a city page optimized for [product / service] in Houston, Tx.
Then within the city page, you would link out to location signals.
So one way to interpret the question, and given the example I’m using above, would it help SEO if you linked directly to the City of Houston in Google Maps?
Perhaps another interpretation of the question could be if you linked from your website to the city in Google Maps where you / your office is located.
In that scenario, let’s say your business is located in Houston but you aren’t ranking in Google very well.
So would linking out to Houston (location signal) help your SEO efforts?
Regardless of the scenario, I do not believe linking out to a city in Google Maps is going to help your SEO efforts.
And here’s why…
Google search does not index the URL’s of Google Map locations.
For example, here’s the site query for Houston, Texas in Google Maps: https://bit.ly/2UfN2SA
And here’s a screenshot of the results of that site query:
As you can see, there is no document that matches that site query.
And obviously Houston, Texas has been a location in Google Maps for a very long time.
You would see the same results if you did a site query for any Google My Business location.
Since Google does not index Google Maps locations, this is why I don’t think linking out to Google Maps would have any positive influence on SEO.
When we create location signals, we always use either the website of the landmark itself, or we link out to the respective Wikipedia page.
For example, if we wanted to create a location signal for Houston, Texas we could link out to the Houston, Texas Wikipedia page.
This page is clearly indexed in Google and carries a substantial amount of authority.
Since the page you are linking to is indexed in Google and carries a lot of domain authority, this (in my opinion) would have a substantial positive impact on your SEO efforts.