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Local SEO is becoming more and more Important

Google currently is the king of all search engines, at least in USA.  Will this change in the future?  Nobody knows.  In my opinion, Google will prevail in its search engine market unless a whole new paradigm of search engine is developed by a well-known or a never-heard-of new company.  For current search market, it’s important to know Google, and how Google shows the search result.

Google search result is shown in 2 main categories: paid-search category, which is referred to as Google Adwords, and organic search result.  Organic search result is, then, divided into two categories: web search result and local search result.  Organic search results are free to be listed.

 

Diagram Showing the google search results

Figure. 1 Categories of Google Search Results

In Figure. 2, an user searched for “Hardware Store Los Angeles” and it showed three different categories colored with black, orange, and yellow colors.  First black color has a listing of “A( )( ) hardware store” that seems to be located in culver city.  As A( )( ) Hardware stores are groups of franchises, each store is responsible for local marketing effort.  The store owner at Culver City branch or its marketing manager decided to spend some money to be listed on Paid search results on Google.

In the orange box, it shows the organic search result.  Google Searchbot crawls through websites and rates the “popularity” of the website and spits out the results based on its rating per the search inquiry.  Yelp.com did a great job on search engine optimization such that its two posts are rated number 1 and 2 on the organic search results.  The yellow box shows the local search results where it is listed with A-G.  Once again, this is based on the measure of how popular the listing is to the search inquiry.  A is the most popular, B is the 2nd, C is the 3rd…. and the list goes on.  If you look to the map on the right, you see red balloons and red dots.  Red balloons are shown on the 1st page of the local search results.  Red dots are places that are reacting to the search term but are not popular enough to be shown first.  Google always tries to find the best matching site or listing to the user.

Diagram of Google Search Result using the keyword Hawardware Los Angeles

Figure. 2 Diagram of Google Search Result using “Hardware Los Angeles”

In our fast paced internet world, 2nd page on Google Search Result does not mean anything.  We sometimes, or many times, use Google while driving and do not have time to look further deeper to find the better result.  (Please do not search and drive at the same time)  1st page is what matters to users and thus to business owners.

With the fastest evolving mobile technologies, big names like Google and Apple are focusing more and more on local search results.  And really from business perspective, local search results are niche markets for Google due to the massive combination of page. 1 search results that local search can create.

Suppose that an user cares a lot more on page 1 result and search results cannot obtain the users location data.  When an user searches for “Restaurant” on Google, the 1st page will have 10 winners only.  10 winners only for all those restaurant in the whole county, or world, is just too little.  Businesses will be tired of  achieving the goal of being on the 1st page due to the low success rate and high competition.  With our mobile devices with location setting enabled, Google now has a whole new platform of search result for “Restaurant” keyword.  If the location is setting is enabled, Google spits out the result primarily based on the location of your device.  If you are in LA and New York and search for “restaurant” on Google, you will receive different search results based on your location.

Even though organic search results are free services that Google offers, Google can make money when there are more and more variations of search results.  Location enabled search result produces astronomical increase in search engine results.  As paid search results was the by-product of web organic result, I feel that there will be unique paid “local” search results on Google.  Review sites like Yelp already has those paid results, and Google will eventually show similar money making product, probably in different format.

March 28, 2015
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