Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Google Patent for New Local Business Discovery via Queries

Google has been less than transparent about how much user behavior figures into the algo. In fact Joy reported recently about a post from a Google in the GMB forum saying user behavior is a ranking signal. Then a couple days later after higher ups found out about the post, that copy was edited out.
<a href="">Google just Publicly Stated a 4th Local Ranking Factor</a>

Normally it's Chris Silver Smith that reports about new Google patents, but here is a new patent which directly affects local that Suvaance discovered.

It clearly shows a connection between user behavior (query terms used) and the local algo. Of course we don't know if this method is currently in play, but it gives you a little more insight into how Google thinks and works it's algo magic.

<a href="">How Google Detects New Local Businesses</a>

Methodology Of Finding New Businesses:

Normally Google uses multiple methods to find new local businesses & index them to provide in its search results. Some techniques are listed here:

By visiting the website of the new business through links appeared in other sites.
By visiting the business page listing in local directories.
Business added in Google My Business.
By collecting data about new business from social media.

Apart from the above and similar techniques, Google has developed a new one; from query terms.

And here is the patent itself for anyone that likes to dive into the nitty gritty.

<a href=",218,420.PN.&OS=PN/9,218,420&RS=PN/9,218,420">US Patent: Detecting new businesses with unrecognized query terms</a>

Provided is a process for identifying a new business listing, the process including: identifying, from a log of local search queries, a term that does not correspond to a name of a business listing; determining a number of recent search queries containing the term and a number of historical search queries containing the term; determining that a rate based on the number of recent search queries exceeds a threshold rate based on the number of historical search queries; and identifying the term as a name of a new business listing.

What do you think? Makes sense or surprising?



Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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Very interesting.

I think it makes a lot of sense.

It also makes me wonder just how much branding plays into SEO. The more individuals Google a business name, does that increase how they rank? Google looks at "prominence" through citations etc. It would seem to me a great indication of prominence would be how often the business is searched for.

If it's true, it's just another feather in the cap for focusing on marketing as a whole, not just SEO.
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