Location-Based Data: The Next Frontier for Local Search?

When Google released their new Local search results format in October, 2010, SEOs quickly determined that the number of reviews and overall rating associated with a business were ranking factors. They also predicted that these would be quickly be gamed.

It was an easy ranking factor to launch the new integrated SERPs with, as they already had piles and piles of review data from their own properties as well as sites they’d partnered with. But Google’s algorithms are not static, and it couldn’t be too long before the Local algorithm included other ranking factors.

Now, it looks like they might be starting to think about other options. A paper submitted to the upcoming Very Large Data Bases conference, on Hyper-Local, Directions-Based ranking and written by two Googlers along with two other researchers, proposes a method for using direction queries…say, of the sort a user might enter into Google Maps…to determine interest in particular places that could possibly be used for ranking such places.
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Local Results Updated

After the latest local changes Google made to the search results we had a lot of updates to do with regards to how we process the local results. Those updates are now live and have been for a few days. Here’s an overview on how we parse each kind of local search result we’re getting served. We’re currently getting served three different types: the old style, the newest integrated style, and another style similar to the old style only the text that preceeds that pack starts with “Places for…”.

We’ve had a few questions on exactly how we plan on calculating rankings with these new results and why. Basically we try and make the “rank” reflect where that site would actually be located within a traditional search results page. [Read more...]

What We’re Working On

Things aren’t working like they should today. Over the last three or four weeks we’ve been working on a lot of major updates to AuthorityLabs.  Everything was looking good on our staging server so we decided to get everything on production last weekend. We spend all day Saturday and Saturday night (till about 5:00am) getting production setup with the new hotness, and weren’t able to completely finish the push to production until  Sunday afternoon. Everything was pulling down data correctly, but we’ve run into some issues this morning which is causing that data not to show correctly.

Things may be a little funky for the next couple days but it’ll be worth it, I promise!  Here are a few new things you can expect to see in your account this week…

  • Indexed page data – the total number of pages of a domain or subfolder indexed in Google, Yahoo! and Bing with a list of the most authoritative pages according to each engine.
  • Type data – we’re now looking for universal results which appear on Google.  If we parse a serp and find image, shopping and video results you’ll be able to see that in the new ‘Type’ column.
  • Local ranking data – along with the type data you’ll see if a local pack is thrown. If we find the URL or domain your tracking within that local pack you’ll be able to see the position.
  • Real-time results – pretty soon after you add new keywords you’ll have ranking data.  We’re still refining this to get it as close to ‘real-time’ as possible but on staging it’s currently only taking about 30 seconds.
  • Updated graphing library – We’ve completely revamped the graphs, which are now entirely javascript based (so you can see them on your mobile).  They also allow us to do rolling averages on the fly in the browser, which will help visualize longer timeframes and view trends associated with rankings.
  • Some API updates for a few of our heavier API consumers.

We’re going to get all this working right today, but it’ll probably take a couple days to work some of the kinks out. We really appreciate your patience.

AZIMA Webinar on Local SEO

Tomorrow there’s a webinar being put on by AZIMA on local search engine optimization.  Bill Leake, the CEO of Apogee Search, is taking the lead here and should have some great info for everyone.

Make sure to register for the webinar today.

About the Speaker

Bill Leake is the CEO and Founder of Apogee Search, the largest search engine marketing firm in the Southwest, one of the 20 largest in North America and one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 500 list. In addition to leading Apogee Search, Bill also serves as the president of the Austin Interactive Marketing Association, and as the chairman of the SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) committee.

About AZIMA

GetListed.org – Local SEO Made Easy

local-seo-toolGetListed.org is the right tool at the right time. If you have a business that relies heavily on local searches, local referrals and local customers definitely take advantage of this site. The price point is perfect – FREE.

The premise behind local SEO is that the more your business is mentioned, reviewed and listed across the web the more ‘local authority’ search engines think you have with regards to a given search. Having a claimed and thorough listing with each major search engine will do a lot to benefit the exposure your listings get.

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