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?