Google is looking to help users find more local information by placing local search results in non-local search queries.
Instead of having to search “Dentists in Delano, MN”, you can just type “Dentists” and get local results on page one. Google is using the location of your Internet provider (ISP) to determine where you are, so there will be some variables and inaccurate results, but local search results are there. Google is trying to improve your search results, feeling that your search probably has local intent.
Local search blogger Paul Jahn weighed in on the new local search feature and the change location ability. Having an ISP that is local is one hurdle, but Paul points out the “change location” feature to help correct that. As my example above shows, my results are for Maple Plain which is 10 miles from where we actually office in Delano. There are still a few Delano results though.
Matt McGee also put together a great post over at Search Engine Land on this and gave some examples, the positives and the challenges.
Local Search Is Important & Improving
The biggest takeaway here is that local search is getting easier for the user. Google is working to understand what you want. It is also going to become even more important for the small business to make sure they are represented in the Google 10 pack of local results.
Small business now have the chance to compete for popular one keyword or two keyword searches. This opportunity shouldn’t be ignored. This addition is great on many levels and I’m sure we’ll be posting on it more in the coming months.