Updated local ranking factors by Google

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local ranking factors by GoogleGoogle’s My Business page has just been updated to include several new ranking factors for local websites. Business across the globe had known this update to be on its way and there had been a lot of reverse engineering to be prepared. However, Google has finally provided us with an updated guidance and has categorized them into relevance, prominence and distance.

Let’s check out the complete list of factors that local websites will be working on hereafter.

  • Relevance’, as we understand will determine how well local listings match search queries. This goes on to say that local businesses will have to add compete information about their business, including the set of products and services they are offering.
  • Distance’ measures how far a location based search is far from the business entity. This is especially important if you own a brick and mortar business and want more number of people to find you in Google search. Even if the end user doesn’t include a location cue in the search query, Google will list results by automatically calculating and showing the nearest businesses. Exact addresses of business will be important here. If would also be helpful if you can already put your business in the Google map.
  • Lastly, ‘prominence’ refers to how well spread your business name is. Google bots will review and give businesses a score, which subsequently gets factored into local ranking. There are many ways to achieve this end. Social marketing and prominence will go a long way in building local business prominence. Further, businesses may also seek to work on this element by building articles, directories and other links. The business’s ranking on the web will also play a role in building your prominence. Personalization will also add to the credibility of businesses and they can expect the business name to spread.

As it is, there are lots to be done to achieve local optimization.

Reviews and ratings will continue to play a role. As it is, businesses with too many low star ratings will not be given a top spot. Organic position will also play a role but it isn’t yet understood, how significant it would be. However, organic positioning has been a top tool for Google to combat spam and will continue calculating it. All of the above suggest that the regular factors for search engine optimization will keep on playing a role.

Looking closely, the new ranking factors aren’t completely surprising. We already knew the concept of NAP consistency. NAP stands for “Name, Address and Place” and takes us to the same end as does the ‘distance’ or ‘relevance’ factors. For local businesses who still thought that Facebook prominence would be enough, the stakes have been increased. From now on, apart from making their presence clear and putting up a winning marketing strategy on social media, local businesses will have to rely on other traditional means of optimization. It is safe to say that ‘local will become global” as they will have to invest in marketing content, blogs, press releases and any other kind of backlinking.

With more and more businesses competing for the same local market, this seems to be a grand update by Google. Only the most promising businesses would be able to team up all the necessary efforts to create a powerful optimization strategy.

The updated local ranking factors by Google seem to be already in place. Businesses that wouldn’t be able to comply will only lag behind in the search results and lose out on the increasing number of online searches.

There’s no scope of denying that the internet has grown to become a vast space for businesses and customers alike. The infiltration of mobile devices has also been playing a crucial role in increasing the prominence of internet. Figuring the right ways to gain higher ranks is the only way to infiltrate the web and earn you the maximum footfalls. Google has been continually improving its search engine ranking criterions to offer end users a better guided search. It can very well be expected that more such updates will come along the way but as of now, it’s a big enough assignment for local businesses.

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