Local SEO & Google Places

Why Local SEO & Google Places Matter.

Local SEO is currently the most important thing you can do for your website, and your business.  Everyone knows that Google and Google Places is where you get your traffic and customers from.  If you’ve been watching Google you will have noticed the changes for local results.  It seems that every 2 or 3 months we get slightly more relevant and more blended results.  What this means is that the local results with Google Places pages are showing up more and more when you search.  These results work differently than the standard Organic SEO results.

Google has a couple different ways of displaying its search results data. For searches that are relevant on the local level, Google will display its search results with useful things like maps and directions, locations, phone numbers, and other locally relevant information. For other searches, Google will display the results with no location based information displayed.  The SEO strategy used to rank in the local results is different than the standard organic results.  Everything from NAP (name + address + phone) cleanup to citation site creation is required to get better local rankings.

Examples of Local and Standard results

(click on images for full-size versions.)

Local Search Results

Local Results

Standard Search Results

Standard Results

Bing, Yahoo, and Everything Else

Luckily for us most of the work that gets you local rankings in Google and Google Places  also work for Bing (Microsoft) and Yahoo.  This means that we don’t have to do double or even triple the work to get results on all three of the big search engines.  As you can see below both Bing and Yahoo have very similar results to Google at this point.

Local searches on Bing and Yahoo

(click on images for full-size versions)

Bing Search Results

Bing Results

Yahoo Search Results

Yahoo Results

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