In recent research by Moz has revealed that the proximity is the new king of the local search.
If you will search for a local business i.e dry cleaners using a mobile device in a small city, you are probably going see that all the dry cleaners are listed out on the map. However, in a bigger city, this whole scenario will change drastically. If you will search for a local business, you will only be able to see few options. For example, if you will search for “Restaurants”, you will only see 6-7 restaurants on the map. So how is Google determining which business to show? Is it about the number of links? mobile friendliness? positive reviews or a measurable presence in the local directories?
A thorough research revealed that it is just about one thing: “Proximity”. Only those businesses appear on the map that is closest to the searcher’s physical location.
Our take on this research is that these results suck and downgrades the quality of local results. Putting high emphasis on proximity is a poor way to show results. I don’t care if a plumber is close to me. I am looking to hire a plumber that’s reputable, prominent in my city, and does good work. The same applies for every business category that is important to me and I am sure others.
People are looking for the best businesses, not the closest businesses. If this is the new normal in Google’s local results, I expect that people will start turning to other sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. when searching for businesses.
For more information on how this will affect Local SEO strategies, visit this link.
Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Ed can be reached at (or visit his websites)