There are many different types of searches that Google recognizes, and one of these types is a local search. That means that the user isn’t just looking for the best Italian restaurant in the world; they want the best Italian restaurant near them. They don’t have to include the terms “near me;” in most cases, especially when searching from a mobile device. Google will automatically include a selection of the top local results, and these results will link directly to their Google My Business profiles.
There are three main factors which Google uses to determine which results are included in these local search results:
Relevance refers to how well the business listing matches what Google thinks the user is looking for. It is the 1st step to overcome for a listing to be included in the returned local results. Relevance includes both geo-relevance and topical-relevance and we will show you exactly how and where to create relevant signals for a local business.
Proximity is obviously important in local search results. With the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology and GPS, users don’t even have to add a location in many instances. Google will list local search results in a range that is determined by what the search engine knows about the user’s location and show how far away each business is from them.
Prominence is a complex factor. Essentially, it refers to how well-established or well-known the company is. A famous 4-star restaurant, a landmark hotel, a world-renowned art gallery would all be places that rank extremely high in terms of prominence. But smaller local businesses can benefit from improving their prominence as well.
There are actually two different aspects of prominence that the local search engine algorithm considers when ranking your business in local results: offline, and online. Our previous examples, of course, have exceptional offline prominence. They are household names, famous landmarks, and big players in the area.
Online prominence is determined by the information Google can gather about the company online. This can include links to the company from 3rd party sites, inclusion in relevant directories, and articles about the company. Also, your search engine rankings in relation to key terms are considered, which is why Google My Business best practices go hand in hand with solid SEO.
One more factor in prominence is your business’s review ranking, and the number of reviews it has. A higher score and more reviews, naturally, means that you’re more likely to rise in the local rankings than not.
As with many different aspects of Google’s search engines, it isn’t possible to know precisely how prominence is calculated. However, our GMB experts have studied trends and analyzed their results to develop the best methods for improving your business’s prominence in local search results.