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Monday, March 1, 2010

Google’s Local Push Continues – “Nearby” Filters Added to Main Search

Posted by @ 5:22 pm

Google obviously understands the importance of it’s Local search as it continues to push out Local Search enhancements on an almost weekly basis.

This week, Google unveiled its newest Local enhancement – the “Nearby” filter.

Google’s Search Options became a permanent feature of the SERPs back in late 2009. The search options give users more control over their search results, allowing them to filter based on search verticals, date, previous search behaviour, and some experimental search views.

Nearby search allows users to refine results to those clearly defined as being within a set proximity of the user. From the launch post:

Starting today, we’ve added the ability to refine your searches with the “Nearby” tool in the Search Options panel. One of the really helpful things about this tool is that it works geographically — not just with keywords — so you don’t have to worry about adding “Minneapolis” to your query and missing webpages that only say “St. Paul” or “Twin Cities.”

Below you can see how the new feature appears in the Search Options panel.


While Google haven’t yet officially announced exactly how it determines the results under these searches, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to start optimizing for Local organic results.

To get started, these 3 steps are a good place to start:

  1. Ensure your address details are included across your website (footer or header). When including your address, make sure to cover off the suburb, major city, state etc. This will help to ensure you’re included no matter what filter the user includes.
  2. Google Local Business Listing is a must for your business. Google will naturally be using its local business database to help assign locator data to it’s natural index.
  3. Gather links from Local centric sources. Links from local groups, councils etc will help to identify your website as a key information source from a local area.

At this stage, the “nearby” filter is only available to users on the site, but it’s sure to roll out further over the coming months.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

Needed to find a particular motorbike shop three towns away…google just gave me adds for stuff I had no interest in and things like bits of local council meeting for that town but no listing for the bike shop just add after add after add of people trying to sell me stuff from around the world…was within the first few results when I tried yahoo…google is a has been nowadays when all that surfaces is people trying to sell you stuff…use yahoo or dogpile that way I have a chance of finding what I’m actually looking for.

By MarkF - March 1, 2010

Every local biz owner needs to wake up and do a little work to get their site ranked. It is really easy . They can use google maps to get listed. Everyone is using the web or cell phones and when they search for something local they are adding the geo modifiers to it as well. Ranking is not that hard.

By scott mosteller - March 2, 2010

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