David Mihm’s Annual Local Search Ranking Factor is now Online

David’s valuable survey of local search opinion is now available for 2010. As always its filled with nuggets and ideas and needs to be carefully read.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
David Mihm's Annual Local Search Ranking Factor is now Online by

11 thoughts on “David Mihm’s Annual Local Search Ranking Factor is now Online”

  1. Thanks again for your contribution!

    I was thinking that a business with multiple physical locations could cheaply take advantage of some of these landing page-related ranking factors by creating many variations of their landing page, each with a unique address. However, this seems to create a duplicate content problem. I was thinking that this could be circumvented with canonical tags, but perhaps each physical location truly needs plenty of unique content?

  2. Mike:

    I agree. It requires and deserves careful reading. I was fortunate to be included amongst the contributors. The “eyes” of over 30 people commenting on these factors is clearly better than the “eyes” of one or two people. I’m slowly scrutinizing the comments and observations from the report.

    There are perspectives that are very different from my own. I look forward to learning more by reviewing the commentary and results.

    I still prefer the quantitative research you did, and I got to participate in from a couple of years ago. It was time consuming but the findings were invaluable.

    Maps and Local remain a moving target but are very valuable. Kudo’s to the recent research, past research, and I look forward to further research.

  3. I loved collaborating this year again as well. I do see comments that differ from my own as well but that makes it even more interesting to dive deeper into the matter. In Europe its quite difficult to find good authoritative business directories like superpages, etc that operate on a european level instead of per country level (say, because of language(s) ).

  4. Hi Mike…thanks for your own help on this Report and kudos to one and all for their participation….

    that said, would ALSO like to know about your own take on the #12 item — “distance from centroid” ?

    our own stats lately show that for all the biz client accounts we have that do NOT show an address, but instead a ‘circle’ that they will travel to a customer’s location…not a ONE seems to be affected by the centroid factor…

    this “should be” as it is, right? I’m at a loss as to try to understand any other mitigating factor for those few clients….

    and hence, my query as to your own findings?

    ???

    Jim

  5. Jim

    I am not sure I understand your question…

    My take on “Distance from Centroid” is that for the most part it has little to no impact on a listing in MOST cases. There is one use case that I see it as affecting results: when there are so few results that Google needs to reach beyond the polygon limits of the geo area to give a good answer…then the results are listed by distance from the centroid.

    As to “not showing and address” feature, my experience is that it totally buries the listing on anything BUT a direct name search.

  6. I hear you Mike…I’m gonna re-look at same…but so far, we’ve found that if you do NOT list a biz address, and then pick a service area that DOES include the centroid itself…then there is NO affect at all from where the firm actually “is” in relation to the centroid at all. ie there is no value to that distance…

    Which — my head tells me, should BE as it is…ie there should be no ranking value attibuted to a competitor who is closer to the centroid than our clients IF our client does not list a street address (locksmith in this case who has no shop but a fleet of trucks)….

    Will research same again….sigh…

    :-)

    Jim

  7. we hid the biz listing addresses, and then picked a ‘service’ area….as per managment of same. while all 5 of these clients has been in the Maps area for over a year, all 5 of them ‘shrugged’ off any ranking reduction due to the fact that the centroid was no longer available as a measuring item (least that’s how I’m figuring it) even tho we did include the centroid in each ‘service area’ that we outlined. There was no holdover either from that change….and all 5 sites now rank up much closer to the top of the Maps rankings….even past competitors who do use an address close to the same centroid.

    As I said, I think that this “is” how it is supposed to work….

    Am I correct here? Clients love it…but I need-to-know for the next one, eh?

    Jim

  8. Thanks for linking to this post and your contributions to it Mike. Wow, what an extensive resource! I’m a little surprised there was such a range of opinions on some of these, from “don’t do this/it will get you penalized” to “this really helps your ranking.” This goes to show the average biz owner will be lost for sure if even the pros aren’t sure about it.

  9. @Tom,

    Often it can be both, things that will help your rankings will only help for a short notice, on the long term you might get penalized for things Google doesn’t allow you to do. It is about applying and following the guidelines and finding out where the traffic is and adept to that in the right way, by using; for example, the right categories.

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