More threads by Ray Trustlink

Mar 25, 2014
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Didn't see a post for this question....

Just wondering, when it comes to local SEO issues. Is Google smart enough to know of a cities alternative names.

For instance I live in Encinitas, but the specific area is also referred to as Olivenhain.
This is a USPS official alternative, they both have the same zip, it not just a local developers subdivision name.

When tagging my business, Computer Consultants
Do I need to designate both Encinitas and Olivenhain as a City tag or will Google know this internally and do the matching.

In other words, if someone searches on Computer Consultants in Encinitas
will Google also show my company listed as Computer Consultants in Olivenhain and vis versa?

I hope I do not need to include all the alternative city names.
Hi Ray and welcome!

Hmmm... I live in the area but I don't think anyone would ever search for Computer Consultants in Olivenhain. They would search for Encinitas I'm pretty sure.

What do you mean by: "When tagging my business, Computer Consultants
Do I need to designate both Encinitas and Olivenhain as a City tag."

What are you referring to when you say city tag? Never heard of that???

But in the Place page city field, which is the most important to get right you need to put whichever name is correct. Just one. And I'm pretty sure it's Encinitas. Olivenhain is not even a city, not according to Google maps.
Thanks for getting back to me.

To answer your questions
When I say Tag, it could be part of
<title>My Local Foods - Leucadia - Leucadia, CA</title>

or a meta tag like

<meta property="og:locality" content="Leucadia">

Also, my cities were just examples, but let me try to make it clearer with an extended example.

Since Encinitas is actually 5 cities that have been merged together.
As such, they are often referred by their historical names.
Leucadia is very different than Olivenhain, but they are all officially Encinitas and share the same zip code.

Say I have a restaurant in Leucadia that caters to it's character and neighborhood.

So a search for Restaurants in Leucadia should show very different results than Restaurants in Encinitas or Restaurants in Olivenhain.

And you say the name should be just one, thus my question, does google know about city name overlaps?

If I use a tag (see above) highlighting Leucadia which is the best fit, would I be excluded from Encinitas searches and similarly, if I use a tag highlighting Encinitas would I be excluded from Leucadia searches?

I would not want to have a title like
<title>My Local Foods - Leucadia|Encinitas|Cardiff - Leucadia, CA</title>
<title>My Local Foods - Leucadia|Encinitas|Cardiff - Leucadia, CA</title>
I've read that this is not good.

Is this clearer?
Ahhh OK sorry, when you said when tagging my business, it sounded like something else.

So 1st off with smaller towns like that, can be different but TYPICALLY if a competitive market you are only going to rank in local for that actual city your address is in, which should be the city in the dashboard.

With title tag you are best off focusing home page on that city and that city only.

But if you wanted to try to rank for the other city names (if you think there would even be any search volume there) then you could do a KW rich page for each city name.

But FYI an example for those cities: Dentist Leucadia ca. All the Dentists are in Encinitas in the area all the Dentists are. None that are over toward Leucadia rank.

For Dentist Olivenhain, most of the same Dentists rank in that same area of Encinitas. So it appears she sees it as pretty much all a search in Encinitas.

I'd do some KW searches yourself in the real city and KW you are targeting and then the surrounding other city names and see what you can find out. Because it varies somewhat by area and competition so me doing searching for a made up example and different KWs does not help a whole lot.
On the original question, Google is supposed to understand that if someone is searching for [anything] in Olivenhain, they are probably also going to be interested in [anything]s located in Encinitas as the two areas are relevant to each other. Here is an example:

When you look for [Computer Consultants in Olivenhain] on, one of the results you would get on first page would be:

"Computer Repair Encinitas Carlsbad Computer Problem So..."

In this result title, the part "Computer Repair Encinitas" is bolded, so it means Google understand the implicit relevance between your search query and this phrase.

I hope this helps!
Thank you for your reply.
Interesting, for the example you gave, the site with the bolded
"Computer Repair Encinitas Carlsbad Computer Problem So..."

Also has a description tag of
<meta name="description" content="Computer Problem Solvers, formerly Computer Troubleshooters, provides Computer Services to Encinitas Carlsbad Cardiff Leucadia La Costa Olivenhain North County San Diego">

Can you be sure that google did the match between Olivenhain and Encinitas on its own. or if it was because Olivenhain matched a word in its description?

Is it ok to stack the description metatag with a list of cities like this or is the city warning restricted to the Title metatag?

BTW: The #2 listing in this query did have Encinitas in its content, but not Olivenhain, so this supports what you are saying.
Google can and does match colloquial terms but like already stated it's best to use the most popular term and let Google figure it out.

Google and SEO's claim that the meta description is not used for ranking. It may be used for displaying snippets on result pages. It should be used to succinctly state what will be found on the page it links to. Also, the description is ignored after about 155 characters.

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