10 Years Ago Today -The 7 Steps for Local Listing Success at Google (& Yahoo)

A Google Local result from September 26, 2006

This week, 10 years ago, I published my first post. My blogging has directly led to 3 new careers1 and a bevy of new and wonderful friends.   During that time I have written over 2100 posts here, at  LocalU and now at GetFivestars. Early and trusted friendships with Matt McGee, Bill Slawski and David Mihm helped me learn a lot and “earned” me my first link. 🙂

Despite all that I have learned from the many people that I have come to love and respect over the years, it strikes me how my third post2,  dated September 27th, 2006 and named3  The Basics of Listing for Success, demonstrates how the more things change the more they stay the same.

Google may cancel business programs faster than I can change underwear but at least in terms of the Google Local algo  they NEVER throw anything away,


 The Basics of Listing for Success

Here is a simple list of what is I have discovered is necessary to start improving your ranking at Google Maps and Yahoo Local.

As I have worked with local listings over the past year I created this small check list for achieving some measure of success. These points may be self evident or they may require additional clarification which I will be attempting to provide over the next several days. They all need testing and examination.

1)Be sure to edit the local listing and include the relevant business categories

2)Enhance the title of the Business to include the key phrase(s)

2a)Craft the categories and the description to reinforce the key phrase(s)

3)Get lots of web references (these are like links but not as rigidly defined) that reference the main key phrase and location of the business

4)Be sure that your own site has lots of references to your local address and key phrase

5)Join the Better Business Bureau/Mobile Travel Guide/Talking Phone Book etc. etc. that Google uses to provide details

6)Be sure to get some good reviews from the reviewing services that Google & Yahoo uses

Unlike optimization for organic search, optimization for local search at the major engines is in a much less developed state. It seems to have many fewer people poking, prodding and testing the hypothesis of local search and coming up with a definitive set of best practices. This is list is an attempt to create that model that we can all test. Have a go and let me know.


Please let me know what you think.

1 Interestingly I didn’t really get my first “real” local seo job until 2011 and it wasn’t until 2012 that it became a full time endeavor. 

2 Clearly I was briefer and more succinct then

3 No reason I can’t change the title and make it a little more search engine friendly. 🙂

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
10 Years Ago Today -The 7 Steps for Local Listing Success at Google (& Yahoo) by

11 thoughts on “10 Years Ago Today -The 7 Steps for Local Listing Success at Google (& Yahoo)”

  1. @Mike and the same still holds true, as it did 10 years ago, operate and market your business for people not search engines.

    All 6 points are helpful to users and therefore helpful to Google.

    I believe this is one of the most important things that most SEO’s/marketers miss the point on .

  2. @Ben
    Actually while that has always been true the biggest changes in the algo really revolve around that with the likes of Panda, Possum, Pigeon, the interstitial ban etc etc etc.

  3. Congratulations, Mike. It’s funny how even after 2100 posts there’s even *more* to write about in this wild industry than there was when you started.

    You’ve made one hell of a dent.

    To another great 10 years.

  4. Happy 10th anniversary to the man who has tried to hold Google to the highest standards while offering the best of insight to the industry and businesses those standards most affect. Congratulations, Mike! It has been a fun decade.

  5. Congrats! You’re right – Google change things a lot but they never get rid of it completely and the fact is the fundamentals have stayed so similar – therefore your guide is very relevant.

    It is still very important your Google My Business page is optimised and up to date. Many businesses benefit after creating their Google business listing, but it is obviously not the sole reason for their success. However Google has over 1.2 billion unique users per month and is an amazing marketing opportunity for small businesses!

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