Google to weigh in on locally relevant search results
Google is the most popular search engines in the world, having more than 70% of the Search engine market. Google aims to provide to its users with the most relevant search results. Everyone knows for a fact that Google is always evolving and improving the search engine algorithms to provide to the end user search results based on the geographical location. Simply put, you will get different results for the same query, based on where you are located.One of the five searches on google is based on location, therefore, it is very important for businesses to invest in local SEO in order to make the information on your website relevant locally and in turn get the traffic you require for your business.
Previously, one could have an access to these services via country code top level domain names (ccTLD). For instance, if you wanted results which focused primarily on the Canadian market, you needed to type the relevant ccTLD , i.e., Google.ca and then search for the domain. The country service and the locally relevant results you receive are determined by your location across Google search and maps. Google recent updates throw light on the way Google Search and Map services are labelled. This change will make improve yourSearch experience and provide you with the most useful and relevant information based on your search query, including your location. Google’s product manager, Evelyn Kao, confirmed that these changes are made to make the search results more local and relevant to users.
The country services on the mobile web, the desktop Search and Maps and Google app for iOS has been updated by Google. After the latest update by Google, the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by the domain and you will be served the country service that corresponds to your location, by default. If you live in Canada, you will automatically receive the country service for Canada, but if you travel to Australia, your results will switch to the country service for Australia.
Factors influencing local SEO
There are a number of factors which are important in local SEO. These include the backlink profile, domain age, website’s technical SEO, number and quality of citations, quality as well as quantity of user clicks on a local result and distance of the business from the user’s search. Google changes Search Engine Results Page results based on the geographical location of the user. Websites that have a high ranking on universal search results do not rank on local queries. The reason for this is that they do not have any local addresses in the URL. For high ranking in the local pack, it is important to use NAP (Name, Address, Phone) as your primary local SEO tactic and build local citations and concentrate on getting high reviews.
Search Results Based on the Location of the User
Google has made some changes on how they optimize local search results to provide to the end user, the most relevant information. Until now, people have used country specific domains for their search optimized for that particular region.For instance, it’s Google.co.uk for the United Kingdom and Google.co.ca for Canada. The choice of country is not indicated by your domain, but instead,Google search engines will give you results corresponding to your location automatically. When a user enters a query on Google, the results they receive on Google Search and Maps are determined by the location where they are present.
What Does This Mean?
This means that if you travel to United Kingdom from Canada, your search results will automatically switch to the country service for United Kingdom. Upon returning to Canada, you will be directed back to the country service of Canada. This change applies to mobile web, Map sand Google on iOS as well as to desktop Search. As this change happens automatically, there is no need to type a relevant ccTLD in your browser in order to get local results for your search.
The Ability To Change Country Settings
This latest change does not imply that typing the country specific domain in your browser will lead you to the version of Google search for that country, but would be based on your actual location. If you are unable to get results for your country service while browsing, you can change the country settings. For that, you need to go to Google Search on your desktop and then, scroll down to find Settings at the bottom of the page. You can find the settings at the top, below the search box on the desktop. On the settings page, go to the heading that says Region For Search Results. Chose the region you want from the drop down menu and click Save. To change the settings on your phone, go to GoogleSearch on your phone and you can easily spot the location on the bottom in a grey background.
Impact of this change on Online Marketers?
Local results appear for people who search for businesses near their locations. The change was implemented for the sake of local search results and google users saw the impact, that meant a different and eventually a better search experience for local businesses and information pertaining to those businesses. Google enhanced hundreds of ranking signals for Google search as well as Google Maps. This resulted in Google’s location and distance ranking parameters being improved ,in turn providing local, relevant results to he users, based on proximity.
According to Google, the update would only have an impact on how Google search and Maps work, but it is important for SEO professionals to boost their local search engine optimization efforts. It is important to create an online marketing strategy that focuses on making your web pages rank for local searches. Making an effort to ensure that your website provides relevant results for your local audience ensures that your web page will rank high on Google Search and maps after the update.
Effect of these changes for your local business
This update had resulted in more exposure opportunity for more local businesses. You can change your local strategy to the changes and make the most of the local listings. The fluctuations in the ranking in the local pack depend on the searcher’s IP, so you and your neighbour could be getting different results for the same query. Do not worry if you are not being listed in the ranking reports, there are chances that you are showing up in the local pack to actual searchers.
Also, check if you are showing up among the top 20 sites on the map view and if you are, work harder on a compelling snippet to help win searchers’ attention and steal potential clients from your competition. This is important because a searcher will see a huge list of competitors while digging for phone numbers and addresses from a local pack. In such a case, if your snippet is better than theirs, it will ensure that the potential clients stick with your listing.
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