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Monday, January 4, 2010

Google Blocks Local Listings for Specific Industries

Posted by @ 5:51 pm

If you run an SEO company or web design business then you’re probably not going to be happy with this discovery.

Some SEOs and web designers have been noticing lately that Google has not been showing local listings in search results for queries related to their businesses – even location-specific ones.

The issue was bought to our attention by Matt McGee over at Search Engine Land who used the keywords “seo seattle wa” and “web design seattle” to illustrate his point and here are the results….


Google initially advised that this problem was a bug in their system, however a recent entry over at the Google Maps Help forum tells another story. Here is what Googler Joel H. has to say about the issue:

Today, we’re intentionally showing less local results for web design / SEO queries. For example, [web design sacramento] doesn’t display local listings today. We believe this is an accurate representation of user intent. In some cases, we do show local listings, however (as NSNA/php-er noted) [web design in bellingham]. I’m sure some of you feel we should be displaying local results for queries like [Web Design Vancouver]. I understand that concern, but based on our understanding of our users, we feel this is the right decision for now.

I’ll give the usual disclaimer that we’re constantly working on improving the user experience and results will vary over time. So, this could change in the future, but I wanted to be explicit about what we’re doing today.

There has been plenty of discussion about this issue already in the blogosphere. What do you think – should Google be allowed to discriminate based on industry?

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (3 - comments)

I think SEO companies shouldn’t really be complaining. It is a bit ironic that they are and if they’re not on the first page for a location-based SEO keyword, it shows just how good their SEO is!

By Ross - January 7, 2010

Search Engine Roundtable reports that Google have sent out a statement which suggests they might change their minds on this decision. You can read more here:

By Courtney Mills - January 7, 2010

It’s not just SEO companies that don’t trigger the Google 10 aka the local map search results. Internet related services like SEO or Website development should not be on any local searches or you’ll get a very poor selection to choose from. Dentists, hairdressers, repair shops, heavy consumer items – those categories trigger the Google 10.

Software has already been developed to find the key words that do trigger the local maps because if you choose the right keyword phrases, you are going to be in the top 10 for sure.

Not only that, but if you see a heavy concentration of addresses that fall into the same local business category – they’re parked domains used as placeholders to get as many local addresses as possible. Every one of them redirects to the same company and so do all the different telephone numbers.

Parked Domain Domination – storage, moving, office supply, real estate agents, rental companies, plumbers, gardeners, any local business with a computer geek is going to figure that out sooner or later. That’s just the cut-throat way of today.

By Leah - January 12, 2010

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