djbaxter

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Local Search Grid: Put Your Rankings on the Map

by Jamie Pitman, BrightLocal
Feb 10, 2021

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With a bird’s-eye view of what searchers see in your neighborhood, town or city, you’ll be able to see changes in rankings as they happen across the map. Seeing a few drops on the outskirts of the map? They could be signs of a bigger problem that you can take action on early.

Know exactly which keywords to focus on​

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Local Search Grid allows you to contrast and compare the ranking grids of various keywords. Easily see which keywords are doing well, which need attention, and identify any trends across keywords.

Discover which competitors dominate the map​

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No more second-guessing which competitors you’re facing off against in local rankings: Local Search Grid makes it easy to identify the rivals you should really be benchmarking against, and offers insights into which key ranking factors they’re doing best and worst in. You can even see competitors’ business locations to determine how easy or difficult it would be to outrank them in their own stomping grounds.

Monitor progress with complete clarity​


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Our proprietary metric ‘Average Map Rank’ gives you a single data point to track performance with, so you can measure the ongoing impact of your efforts and react faster to ranking drops. Save time opening multiple reports from different points in time: just hover over the timeline to see a streamlined summary of performance.

Wow clients with intuitive reports​

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Whether you’re pitching for new business or compiling monthly reports, Local Search Grid arms you with a visual way to drive client engagement and get buy-in. The ‘traffic light’ color-coding system ensures that no matter their level of SEO expertise, clients will immediately understand what they’re seeing.

Spot spam in seconds​

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Experts agree that if there’s one tactic every local SEO should be doing to get better results for their clients, it’s fighting spam. With the Top-ranking Competitors table, you can view all businesses competing in the local search landscape in one place, then pick out and report inaccurate GMB business names in mere moments.

Why wait to take advantage of this exciting new tool? Jump in to your BrightLocal account and set up your first Local Search Grid report now.*

*Please note: this tool is not available to customers on our Just Reviews plan.
 

jmshap

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Hey Jamie,

This is really exciting and I've been checking it out a bunch. I'm curious why I am seeing such differing results between this and Local Falcon. I still have a bunch of Local Falcon credits so I've been comparing results. Every location I have tested is showing much, much lower rankings using your new tool when compared to Local Falcon. Thanks a lot.
 

bigbadblob

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My firm gave this search a go today. Our first few searches went well. I wouldn't say it's at the level that the other established grid searches are quite yet. No big problem with that. Having worked as a dev on an uncountable number projects that utilize a Google API or scrape results, I wouldn't have let a tool like Bright Local's Local Search Grid's (in its current state) loose for paying customers. On a very basic level, their results are demonstrably biased in at least two ways: their results are without-question affected by their server's physical location; the Local Search Grid's results are also factoring in a poorly anonymized search history, which weights every submitted search with every other submitted search. We were able to control for both of these issues and confirm they are independent issues and not two symptoms of the same flaw. There are also two other theorized issues. We were unable to demonstrate the exact nature of the skewed results (which was more of an amount-of-time-we-had-to-mess-with-it issue as opposed to some kind of too-hard-to-prove issue--I'll have the other issues documented tomorrow if I'm somehow able to get 60-90 minutes of my work day to flush the proof out). We know the issues exist. We were unable to come up with a side-by-side "proof of issue" example, so I utter a criticism in public until I have clear documentation.

Frankly, the issues I've just mentioned can be taken care of and don't represent anything fatal to the Local Search Grid's viability. I'm mentioning the things we figured out today not as a warning to anyone who reads it and not because I have an ax to grind. My hope is that they can and will troubleshoot their code in short order.

A major issue does exist. Bright Local's Local Search Grid is unable to provide results for service area businesses. If this was an oversight, I would question the competence of the entire company. Service area businesses are not a trivial, rarely-encountered entity in the world of Google Maps, local search, and local SEO. They matter. As I mentioned earlier, it's hard for me to understand how the powers that be had a gander at what their devs came up with and concluded that the tool is viable as an offering to paying customers.

If anyone from Bright Local sees this post, please reach out. I would be happy to give the devs some pointers based on the small amount of research I did this afternoon. I don't know if the terms of this forum allow for me to give my email address out, so I'll opt . I'm assuming there is a way to privately message users of this forum. I'd like to see these things get taken care of. I like Bright Local.

That's all I've got for now
 
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My firm gave this search a go today. Our first few searches went well. I wouldn't say it's at the level that the other established grid searches are quite yet. No big problem with that. Having worked as a dev on an uncountable number projects that utilize a Google API or scrape results, I wouldn't have let a tool like Bright Local's Local Search Grid's (in its current state) loose for paying customers. On a very basic level, their results are demonstrably biased in at least two ways: their results are without-question affected by their server's physical location; the Local Search Grid's results are also factoring in a poorly anonymized search history, which weights every submitted search with every other submitted search. We were able to control for both of these issues and confirm they are independent issues and not two symptoms of the same flaw. There are also two other theorized issues. We were unable to demonstrate the exact nature of the skewed results (which was more of an amount-of-time-we-had-to-mess-with-it issue as opposed to some kind of too-hard-to-prove issue--I'll have the other issues documented tomorrow if I'm somehow able to get 60-90 minutes of my work day to flush the proof out). We know the issues exist. We were unable to come up with a side-by-side "proof of issue" example, so I utter a criticism in public until I have clear documentation.

Frankly, the issues I've just mentioned can be taken care of and don't represent anything fatal to the Local Search Grid's viability. I'm mentioning the things we figured out today not as a warning to anyone who reads it and not because I have an ax to grind. My hope is that they can and will troubleshoot their code in short order.

A major issue does exist. Bright Local's Local Search Grid is unable to provide results for service area businesses. If this was an oversight, I would question the competence of the entire company. Service area businesses are not a trivial, rarely-encountered entity in the world of Google Maps, local search, and local SEO. They matter. As I mentioned earlier, it's hard for me to understand how the powers that be had a gander at what their devs came up with and concluded that the tool is viable as an offering to paying customers.

If anyone from Bright Local sees this post, please reach out. I would be happy to give the devs some pointers based on the small amount of research I did this afternoon. I don't know if the terms of this forum allow for me to give my email address out, so I'll opt . I'm assuming there is a way to privately message users of this forum. I'd like to see these things get taken care of. I like Bright Local.

That's all I've got for now

Hi @bigbadblob

Welcome to LSF!

Thanks for taking the time to test out our newest tool and giving such a detailed, if painful to read, review of it.

Firstly, we are eager to find out more more about these perceived issues and if you’re happy to talk to us we’d really appreciate you giving us some of your valuable time. I’ll DM you on the forum right after I post this and see if we can work out a time that works for you given your workload.

Secondly, I’d like to try and address some of the valuable concerns that you raise.

  1. Tool not working for Service Area Businesses
The tool does work for service area businesses who hide their address in GMB. We’re not able to locate these businesses in the Google Places API because Google doesn’t include them due to not having a public street address. So we have a secondary option to paste in a Google Maps Link from which we can then retrieve the info we need to run a report.

I created a short (but crude!) walkthrough video to show how this is done and what the resulting report looks like - Local Search Grid | BrightLocal.com

If this secondary option isn’t working for you then we’d love to hear why and address it ASAP.

  1. Tool not being ready for public usage
I can assure you that spent a huge amount of time and diligence in the development to this tool (too many dev hours & cost that I care to consider!)

We tested a vast number of options and variables before settling on the solution that now drives the tool. A lot of our focus was spent on ensuring the accuracy and consistency of results. There are a lot of factors that make this non-trivial (including server location) and they took a lot of time and focus to iron out. Like you, we also have a great deal of experience in scraping data from Google, as we do this to generate the data in almost all of our reports. We learned a lot more in the process of building this tool and applied that new knowledge to make this tool reliable and robust.

We also released the tool in Beta mode for a number of high usage customers for 6 weeks; we got some great feedback which helped us improve the tool, both in result robustness and usability.

So when we released Local Search Grid to our full customer based we did so with a very high level of confidence born out of the long development time spent on the tool and the improvements made during the beta phase.

We would never ship a sub-standard product to customers; that goes against everything we stand for and would abuse the trust customers put in us.

However, having said all that, we also know that there are things that we don’t know - or don’t know enough about. It’s very possible that you have identified issues we’re not aware of and we would be very grateful to learn more about these so that we can ensure the tool (all our tools in fact) work to their best ability for customers. So let’s talk, share insights and hopefully we can all learn something that helps us become better.

Thank you @bigbadblob. I really do appreciate the candid review and your openness to working with us to make the tool better. Speak soon.

Best wishes, Myles
 

JoyHawkins

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I got to test this tool before it was launched and found it really easy to use. I think my favorite feature is the list of businesses (competitors) down below. It gives you a really good high-level of who is beating you.

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