With all of the new features and changes in the local search scene at Google, they took the time to put together a video explaining local search rankings.
The video is a great visual and base level explanation of how local search rankings are displayed, compiled and ranked for Google Places.
The video outlines these three main ranking factors:
- Relevance – results that categorically match what has been searched
- Prominence – results that are “well known, trusted” and show solid data from other sources on the web
- Distance – results that are near your search criteria or known location
The latest changes to Google Places have changed both the display of local search results as well as the algorithm used to rank them. Where local used to have its own formula, now organic search trust heavily plays in your local ranking.
More Local Search Products
Along with the Google Places changes, new products focused on local search have hit the scene in the last year. The video covers these three:
- Google HotPot: rate places and get personalized recommendations (think Yelp)
- Google Tags: visual tags that help your local listing stand out ($25/month flat fee)
- Google Boost: a paid local search advertising option, controlled from your Place page
I’ve already increased the amount of reviews I’ve been leaving for businesses thanks to HotPot. The interface is so simple and even kind of fun. All of these products are aimed at a quality local search experiences for the user, but a savvy business can employ all of these to its advantage.
Of course Five can help with your local search marketing needs on all of these fronts. It’s exciting to see the local search space get so much attention, improvement and tools and we don’t see that changing.
It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. 🙂