How Does Google’s Local Algorithm Work? |

Published by admin on January 21, 2021

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How Does Google’s Local Algorithm Work? |

Google’s algorithms are ever-changing. Whether it’s the difference between how Google treats local and organic or an update to the system, it’s always best to keep updated on Google’s local algorithm. 

In this article, we will discuss Google’s local algorithm and the three main factors that drive it. 

Google Search Laptop Graphic to represent Google SEO ranking factors.

What Does Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’ Mean?

In simple terms, Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’ is the formula Google uses to create the three-pack in search results. 

For example, when a potential customer uses a search with local intents like ‘coffee shop near me’, Google then places it in the map pack. 

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What Are the Three Main Factors Driving Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’?

The three factors which fuel Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’ are:

  • Proximity
  • Prominence 
  • Relevance

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How Does Proximity Affect Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’?

Your proximity is defined as where your location is when searching on a mobile phone or desktop.

This is basically where Google thinks your business is located and will show this in geographically-specific searches.

Desktop Searches

Google will show this via a blue dot on Google Maps on a desktop search. This is determined by your ZIP or Postcode.

Mobile Searches

Using a mobile search, Google knows more about your location using geo-coordinates. Again, this is pinpointed using the blue dot.

This is because Google can pinpoint your exact location using your phone’s coordinates. There are Chrome extensions that can change these locations such as GS Location Changer.

The GS Location Changer allows you to search geographically-specific searches without being influenced by your own location.

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How Does Prominence Affect Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’?

Prominence suggests how important Google thinks your business is during a geographically-specific search.

In order to gain prominence with Google, you must ensure that you are optimising certain areas of your business online. These are:

  • Links to your business. This will help Google to verify your business as legitimate and show that it is an authentic business.
  • Store visits. Having a physical location with foot traffic will help Google’s local algorithm to know that your business is prominent in the local community.
  • Reviews online. Having reviews sometimes just isn’t enough, having updated reviews is definitely the way to go. Generally, businesses with more recent reviews are considered more prominent than other businesses with older and fewer reviews. 
  • Citations. These usually signify NAP data (name, address, and phone number) in which your business appears online. Ensure that your citations are consistent and accurate for the best results for the prominence of your business online.

For more information about how to get your business to show up in searches ‘near me’, check out our blog post ‘How to Show Up in Business Listings Near Me |’ here.

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How Does Relevance Affect Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’?

This is basically how much Google thinks your business is related to the local searches around your industry.

If your business is prominent but has no relevance to search queries, your page will not show up in local searches. 

The best way to gain relevance is to have content created on your page that is not only structured well but also covers relevant topics too. 

These are a few things you can do for your business to increase your relevance in Google searches:

  • Use relevant content.
  • Increase your onsite SEO. These include title tags, meta tags, and other onsite SEO.
  • Citations. As detailed above, citations are another factor. This is because NAP data can increase your relevance for local searches depending on your address and other facts about your business too. 
  • Google My Business Categories. Google has just under 4000 categories to choose from, which means that choosing the most relevant one for your business is very important for your business to show up in Google searches.
  • Your Business Name. Like NAP data in citations, having keywords in your business name can give your business more relevant to local searches. 
  • Using accurate and authentic reviews. Google uses content inside reviews to impact relevance. This includes localised keywords relevant to your business.

How Can Vicinus Help Aid Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’?

Vicinus can help with Google’s ‘Local Algorithm’ too. Vicinus is an AI-powered hyperlocal marketing tool that will enhance your local presence online. 

The Vicinus platform features real-time management and creation of business listings across multiple platforms, insights into performance, building and monitoring online reputation, and more.

For full local optimisation, Vicinus also assists in creating SEO-friendly location pages for each of your business locations.

For more information, get in contact with us below.

contact us vicinus

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