Web Design and Search Engine Optimization at Don Johnson Design, LLC.

Search Engine Optimization

 

Google Local Results

How important has the Google Local Results become in recent months?  Very!  Why is this?  Well, if you have a local business then you are in luck.  Google has now taken up the most expensive real estate on the internet (the top 2 inches of the search results) and has decided to make Local Results a real force to be reckoned with in the battle for Search Engine Supremacy.

Why did they do this?  Maybe it is to give a more relevant search result for local searches, or maybe it is to exploit a new means of obtaining information about companies all over the country.  Really, it is not up to me to determine why they have decided to make this gigantic leap into the local venue.  All I care about is that it is a practical way of showing prominent companies in a specific region.  The one thing about the Google Local Results that constantly drives me crazy is the fact that they seem to have no rhyme or reason as to who shows up in the coveted top 3 spots for a given search.

As a specialist in Search Engine Optimization, I would love to crack the Local Results Methodology.  Unfortunately, as with other aspects of Google, they only show their hand in very rare instances.  I do believe that by studying these results I have determined several areas of interests that concern the Google Local Results.  You might ask, how did you figure these aspects out?  It’s simple actually.  I have done a lot of research and spent many hours racking my brain (just like I did for SEO) and here is the info that I have uncovered. 

These Google Local Results are generated by a combination of several different variables.  The first and most obvious is their insistence that companies that geographically located towards the middle of a city should be given special treatment.  Is this a rational justification?  No!  It is actually a very silly way to determine which company to list in the top 3 positions.  Who cares if a company is located towards downtown?  Does that mean that they are better than a company located in a different part of town?  No!  Yet, this seems to be a criteria in their results.  How do I know this?  Well, in some cases there are companies listed in the Local Results that do not even have a website, but they are listed in the top 3.  Why, because they happen to be located near the city name on the Google Maps.  Think I am crazy?  Test me!  You will see that this happens often when there is little competition. 

So what are the other factors?  Well, here is where my obsessive compulsive nature comes in handy.  I have found that there are at least a couple of other factors that are in play.  One of them is the use of the Better Business Bureau as a source of credibility.  Apparently, Google likes the BBB.  I personally, think that the BBB is a complete waste of time and I can site personal examples of my local branch calling me and telling me that people inquired about my company through them.  When I asked what they said, I was prompted to sign up for $300 per year or something like that in order to find out what someone said about me.  Their salesman was making a sales pitch.  After talking to him for a while, I determined that he was simply using this as a means to get me to sign up.  I did not and still do not feel that my company should have to be subjugated to a third party when it comes to business.  Anyways, enough with my opinion on that matter.  Google Local Results cares about the BBB, more specifically the online version of the BBB.  If you can get listed in the BBB directory and obtain positive ratings, this seems to help with Google Local Results. 

Other factor that is looked at is the use of SuperPages.com as a source of your company’s business profile.  You can list your products and services, brands, specialties, certifications, affiliations, and any other additional information.  This is also a great place to obtain great reviews.  Yes, you can even delete the bad reviews.  Now, how effective is that?  You can keep the good ones and delete the bad ones.  Is that an honest way of advertising to your clientele.  I don’t think so.  The funny thing is that some of these companies don’t even know that they have terrible ratings on these sites.    

Search Engine Optimization
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