- Jun 28, 2012
There has been buzz brewing for the past week or so about major changes in the local search results.
And even just how search works in general. For a few days people were unable to set search location or get it to stick. It appears it's working again now.
But the bigger concern is results seem to be more national organic and less localized. PLUS even if you set location to where you client is, the organic results you see are all for the actual location you are searching from and you don't get results that are localized to the search location setting.
PLUS packs are smaller and more scattered if you don't use a GEO modifer.
Just all kinds of changes!
Check out Mike's blog for overview.
<a href="http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/05/24/google-location-results-still-screwy/comment-page-1/#comment-847510">Google Location Results Still Screwy | Understanding Google My Business & Local Search</a>
Here is my reply at Mike's blog after doing a quick analysis of a few SERPs.
I normally research with GEO because it's just more predictable and easier to do comparisons.
But the majority of consumers search without GEO. So most consumers are going to be seeing theses smaller pack/less localized results.
I just did some quick checks and noticed one additional little thing of interest...
I searched for Dentist, and then cosmetic Dentist in 3 markets.
Seattle, LA and Atlanta.
In all 3 cases when I search for the single word Dentist, there is no map, on top right to give you the signal that it's a local result and no pack above the fold.
When you scroll down you find there is indeed a pack and a map on the right side. But a smaller pack in most cases (3, 4, 7) than the 2 word phrase pulls.
For Dentist I also get the "occupation" info card on the right under the map. And national news and info sites about Dentist, as if it's a generic search, not a local search.
For Cosmetic Dentist in all 3 cities I get somewhat more normal local results.
Map top right and a full 7 pack.
However with both queries I get very mixed packs with results from surrounding cities, not just the city location is set to. So for instance Dentist (in Seattle) I get a 3 pack and there are tons of dentists there BUT it only shows 1 from Seattle. The other 2 are Bellevue. Cosmetic Dentist show 7 pack with Dentists from Bellevue and Redmond in the mix.
With both queries I do however get San Marcos listings in organic.
So, for the single word Dentist, based on no map up top, smaller packs and that "occupation" info card it seems like the algo is not picking up a strong sense of local intent.
But when you add a qualifier like Cosmetic to the query, she becomes a little more certain you are looking for local results.
However organic, pretty much still gives you results for your actual location, not the search location setting.
Chiropractor (Seattle) Same thing. No map top right, occupation box and lots of national results and news stories, like it's more of a generic search instead of a local search.
Not sure if anything I said above carries through to other queries. Just a quick and limited observation.
Other discussions here:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TerrySimmonds/posts/1BZ6guvy9mE">Has Google switched off location settings in Search Tools? The 1st thing I do…</a>
<a href="https://twitter.com/philrozek/status/601165487595192320">Phil Rozek on Twitter: "Anyone notice very diff. local results today? They aren’t local unless w/ a geomod. @mblumenthal @localseoguide @MaryBowling @darrenshaw_"</a>
However you cut it, looks like less localized results.
Couple this with other recent changes like +Local Search being nuked. And links to G+L from map listings being removed. Makes me a little nervous about where all these changes are heading.
My head is spinning!
Are you seeing flux? Noticing anything different than normal???
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