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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Online Experts Agree on Top Local Search Ranking Factors

Posted by @ 8:46 pm

google-mapsWith local search results becoming so important for small business, a group of SEOs have come together to create a list of the top positive and negative local search ranking factors. The survey pulls together 27 local SEO experts to ponder over 49 different local ranking factors.

Participants were asked to rank the importance of each criteria referring only to their influence on the rankings in Google and Yahoo Local search results (the 10-pack, 3-pack and onebox results).

According to the panel, the five factors with the most significant positive effect on local rankings are:

  1. Having your local business listing address in the city being searched
  2. Being listed with other major data providers like the Internet Yellow Pages
  3. Having your local business listed in the proper categories
  4. Having a claimed, verified local business listing with Google/Yahoo!
  5. Having your major search keywords in the title of your local business listing

The research also identified some factors with can have a negative impact on your ranking. These included:

  1. Using an (800) number as the primary local business listing number
  2. Listing multiple locations on your websites contact page
  3. Negative customer ratings or reviews
  4. Having multiple local business listings with the same business name, number or address

This full list provides a great reference point for small businesses to improve their local ranking. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or energy to try this for yourself you can always use our Guaranteed Top 10 Google Local service!

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Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

Discussion (1 - comment)


Good points. We find many engines have bad data and we encourage our customers to “claim” their listing and keep it updated with the proper info and the proper headings. You need to state your nature of business in your profiles so they can be indexed and searched. Make sure that all pertinent keywords are addressed. Thanks for passing this info.

Andy –

By Andy - May 29, 2009

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