Aug 7, 2013
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I just got off the phone with a client. We were going over his ranking and both of us were showing different results. I realized that he was searching "Orthodontist in Tucson" and he was searching "Orthodontist Tucson". I will search like this sometimes to get a feel for that particular market, but it got me wondering what other people do. Doing a search "Where is a good orthodontist in Tucson" brought up another result that was different. With hummingbird, how do we search to get an understanding of Ranking? Just Curious.


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Great screenshot and question Justin.

My baseline is always City 1st then KW as some studies I've done suggest this is most popular BUT kinda depends.

HOWEVER the most popular local searches of all by a long shot, sometimes 200% higher are for KW only with no city modifier.

Here is Ortho KW only, with location set to Tucson. OrthoPros is C and they weren't in any of your screenshots.

KW only searches are tricky on 2 levels.

1) It seems like it's a totally different algo for KW only searches. The ones you show in your screen shot are often pretty close. But KW only is often TOTALLY different.

2) When searching for KW only to try to replicate you need to set your location to that city. But in reality what the locals in that area see could be different. If they don't have location set, then G usually goes by IP which could be a couple towns over. OR if they are searching via mobile then listings nearby could be more prominent than the standard ranking order.

Just thought I'd throw a little more complexity in for fun. :p
Aug 7, 2013
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Thanks for your thoughts Linda. I forgot to mention that I did have the location set for Tucson. The company I work with focuses on Keyword + City. I will be opening up some discussions in house to see if we can't broaden our approach.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Well you SHOULD focus on City KW in your optimization.

But my point was more that if 200% more search KW only and and your client is ranking high for KW only, but you aren't checking ranking for KW only - then you are missing out on a big opportunity to sizzle that important metric to clients! :)

What if you could say, you rank D for KW city but 200% more consumers search for just the word Orthodontist and you rank B for that most important term.

Also having city set is not as important if you are searching City KW because city is right in the query.
But it's imperative if you are searching city only.
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