Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I made a comment in my SMX coverage that I thought there would be a big announcement coming out the of the event.

"I had a feeling that since David was speaking he would share findings from the new
Local Search Ranking Factors and it would be announced at SMX that it was live."

Well it was not announced and I could not find anything about LSRF mentioned on Twitter. But just found this live blog from Bruce Clay that has some LSRF data and also has a couple other really interesting things that were shared at the Decontructing Pigeon panel.

TONS of great info in that post - plus screenshots of slides, so head over to read it.
Will quote the LSRF excerpt 1st, then more below.

<a href="">SMX East Liveblog: Deconstructing Pigeon, Google’s New Local Search Algorithm</a>
(Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

3. What the Experts Say

Every year David Mihm surveys the local search industry experts about Local Search Ranking Factors (LSRF) that are gaining and losing importance. Here are the generally agreed upon winners and losers this year.

2014 LSRF Big Winners:

Domain authority
Proximity to searcher
Quality of inbound links

2014 LSRF Big Losers:

Proximity to centroid
Physical address in city of search
Verified GMB pages
Quantity of structured citations
Proximity to other businesses in industry

He sees Pigeon as an amplification of Hummingbird — that is, a strong brand preference. Web signals like links have never been good at identifying worthy local businesses. Directories’ internal links are more powerful than all but a handful of inbound links.

What about pack results? Spammers who know Google’s playbook are the ones winning.

So I guess David just gave a brief summary and there you have some of the important takeaways.
Hopefully the full report will be out soon.

<img src="" alt="dividermulti" width="550" height="4" />​

The other thing that jumped out at me... I've been wondering if "answer boxes" would hit local. Answer boxes are bad IMO, because they give the user the answer right in the SERPs and could cut out the need to click and visit the web site.

IF answer boxes hit local I assumed they would be from a generic industry resource. Well David found a local "Answer Box" and I really don't like what I'm seeing so wanted to share. David said:

“DWI attorney new Orleans” is not a query that should get an answer box). Google is definitely ratcheting up the KG signals, but it isn’t getting it right yet."

Hmmm, it's gone now. I saw it yesterday. The answer box read like an ad. It was not any type of answer to the query "DWI attorney new Orleans". It was all about one atty. Not good Google and this will get gamed!

In trying different queries trying to trigger answers I found that "DUI lawyer new Orleans" is triggering a one box. And it's for the same atty I remember seeing in the answer box. This listing. It's not a KW stuffed EM name or anything. So if he's strong enough to trigger a one box and answer box, it might be worth digging in to see why Google likes that site/listing so much.

<img src="" alt="dividermulti" width="550" height="4" />​

Adam Dorfman from SimPartners said:

"ZIP code served and area served are two things local clients often have on site. They that found having multiple ZIP codes, up to 3, helped conversions. Likewise, listing more areas served was a big boost to performance."

"On-page optimization still matters. Over-optimization is being targeted."

Andrew Shotland said:

"And a notable difference after Pigeon is that there’s plenty of spam! He himself made some fake listings to test with fake addresses and exact match domains set up with a Yext power listing; those fake results got up in pack rankings in about 3 days."

<img src="" alt="dividermulti" width="550" height="4" />​

I didn't add this to my SMX coverage because there is enough here I wanted to do a stand alone post.

Here are the rest of the golden nuggets that come out of this session.
<a href="">Deconstructing Pigeon Panel: HIGHLIGHTS from SMX East #smx</a>

What do you think about any of the above???

Brian Barwig

Sep 5, 2014
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Great write up Linda and thanks for sharing Andrews takeaways.

I cant be the only one around here who is disappointed in the fact that EMD's are important again....right? Right! Big opportunity for spammers again and Andrew proved it already. Hopefully G figures this out quickly before the local listings become even more Pigeon Poop than they already are.

Im interested to see if/when Penguin comes out next week, what effect that will have on the local listings.


LocalU Faculty
May 17, 2013
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I'm going to be talking a lot more about the SPAM issue at State of Search, but the results from the tests were pretty interesting (and disturbing.)

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
A machine... haha no ones called me that for awhile. :p

Thanks Justin.
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