Mar 28, 2016
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1st time poster. I was wanting to get some current up to date input. I have noticed that on mobile. Google maps is giving me 2-3 local by location and then the rest are generalized by geo. understandable.

But when it comes to desktop, specifically the snack pack, I want to say the requirements(citations/authority) for 1a differ from 2b and 2b differs from 3c. As if google is giving the weaker a chance to blossom.

In my instance a HVAC term search reults in 1st and 3rd are weaker where as 2nd looks like a stronger build.

Any thoughts?
Oct 25, 2013
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Welcome to the forum!

Not sure I understand what you're meaning... can you share specifics? If I understand you right, I think you're meaning that the second entry in your 3-pack for HVAC seems to be the one that would deserve the top spot, and the first and third might not be as deserving to be there at all as some of the ones underneath them.

I haven't noticed that, though I will say there's a lot of factors that roll into making that particular part of the SERPs. I'm even still seeing having a business name that's keyword + city still seems to be a big ranking factor. Adding in site speed, user behavior (CTR, time on page, bounce rate, etc) onpage factors, backlink profile, citation integrity and quality, GMB profile related factors, etc. it starts to get real hard to tell at a glance why Google's ranking one higher than another. Just because the second one in your search had a good number of reviews or something doesn't necessarily mean it's the one with the most factors in it's favor. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you though?

I've definitely noticed things can be a little different between mobile and desktop though, to say nothing of search variations (with or without city, searching from different locations in the city, etc) but nothing's stuck out to me at least that says Google's not ranking as well deserving of companies on the desktop specifically, at least not in the areas I keep an eye on.


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
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Mobile uses location more as a higher ranking factor. So if you search HVAC Chicago on Mobile, the locations that are super close to you will have an advantage on mobile (based on the exact area in Chicago you're searching from). Do the same thing on a computer and you won't see the same thing.

Locksmiths in the past were aware of this and would create multiple listings (1 for like every 5 miles) so that they could rank on mobile.

Although this article is old, it's still, unfortunately true.

If you want to list the keyword you're searching and some screenshots of what you see on mobile vs. computers it might help us give more specific advice :)
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