David Mihm’s annual Local Search Ranking Factors report is out this year. This year, David has brought together 40 local search experts who will give their opinion on the best ranking factors in local search. Simply put, it tells you where you should focus your attention if you have a business and an online presence.
The creation of the local search report
The Google+ Local Pages update preceded the survey taken; but there are still some important lessons to be learnt. Participants were made to rank the 90 possible positive factors and the 18 possible negative factors, which essentially form the core of Google’s Local Search algorithms. The survey asked the logical question – what is the most important positive factor overall that will alter the rankings?
The results were then tabulated through a system of inverse scoring and then weighted to compare the relative importance of each factor based on participant responses.
So what were factors related to? The report analyzes the most important factors in relation to the following categories:
The consensus was that if you include your physical address in the city of search, ensure consistent information, local area codes, product/service keyword in the business title, and geographic keywords in the website URL, and associate categories correctly, then they all come under the purview of factors which are crucial for overall ranking.
Although the Google algorithm keeps changing, the basics essentially remain the same. Google Places has transitioned to Google+ Local Pages, so if you are setting up your own business or looking to bring in more traffic, then stay updated on the metrics set by Google to be assured of a good ranking. It’s not too late to get started if you haven’t yet checked out the 2012 Local Search Ranking Factors report. You stand to gain by reading the research undertaken by 40 experts. If the report is too long for you, then head over to David Mihm’s recap.