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10 Small Business Local Search Ranking Factors

10 Small Business Local Search Ranking Factors

What is Google Places?

Click to visit Google PlacesLocal business listings are valued highly by Google. If you do a local search which includes a place, town, city or local service, Google will display this local business box.     Go to Google Places

What determines your Google Places Rank?

So are you wondering what the ranking factors for local search engine optimization? Here are the top 10 factors that determine your Google Places ranking.

1. Claiming your Google Places Page/Local Listing.
Basically, Google may already have a listing for you that they put together through different sources. If not, then create one. Claiming your listing ensures that Google has the right information and protects it from others having access to it.

2. Business Address in City of Search.
Make sure your business address is correct so that those viewing your page know where you are. It also ensures you are displayed properly on the map. Your business having an address that resides in the local area searched will most definitely help with your ranking.

3. Proper Categories.
Selecting proper categories for your small business listing seems to be crucial. Experts suggest that you should select at least one of Google’s default categories and use your other selections as an opportunity to apply keyword strategies.

4. Product/Service Keyword Business Title.
Having a keyword that a user searches for in your business title has proven to be quite effective. Only if it is a part of your official business name though. So don’t go stuffing your business title with keywords if they aren’t as it will work against you in the long run.

5. Being Close to the Center of the City.
At this time, Google tends to give more weight to small business listings that are closer to the center of a city for local searching. They are getting better at recognizing the flexibility of a business so it may not have as much bearing on the results in the future. Especially when the exact position of the user is considered such as with a mobile device or when browsers become more aware. This applies mainly to larger cities of 200,000 or more.

6. Description Including Product/Service Keywords.
Do not keyword-stuff your description as you will be penalized. Avoid using the same keywords as in your categories as well. Use this as an opportunity to share more strategically selected keywords to support your small business. Your description is very important to the viewers of your listing so make sure it reads well and makes sense.

7. Adding Photos.
This is generally accepted as a means to provide a better user experience. There is some debate as to whether having photos improve the ranking of the small business local search listing. Having a complete profile does support increased credibility from a user perspective and likely the search engines. It certainly doesn’t hurt.

8. Local Area Code Association.
This is likely used as a confirmation of locality. The general consensus is that it doesn’t seem to be much more than that but it does help. Especially since users tend to be more apt to call a local number than a 1-800 number due to its association with call centers. Google also emphasizes using one so that should reinforce your using it if you have one.

9. Related Categories.
Experts seem to agree that “Related Categories” helps and offers an excellent opportunity to rank on long tail keyword phrase. For more info:

10. Location Keyword in Business Title.
This is basically saying that having your location name in your business title gives more weight when a user searches for that location. Makes perfect sense. If you have your location in your official business name then that’s great. You can take advantage of this. But don’t go adding it to your listing business title if you don’t. – you will be penalized.

Download this in PDF format …………………………. See my Google Places page

Claim Your Google Places Now!

Google Places UPDATE

From Google Places to Google+ Local: What Your Business Needs


Google is slowly phasing out Google Places, its business directory service, and transforming it into a more “social” business connection experience through the use of Google+ Local. If you’re unfamiliar with Google+, it is the search With Google’s acquisition of Zagat, the popular user-generated restaurant review service, food establishments can now be rated on a 30-point scale for food, decor, service and overall quality. The average of all reviews is shown as the restaurant’s “Zagat

Google Places now merged with Google+ to make Google+ Local


Google+ Local means a more social interactive version of Google Places. Check out the Google+ Local demo video to see the changes. There is a Local tab within Google+ that now, alongside your Google Places information,

Transition From Google Places to Google+ Local


about the significant changes that will be taking place with their local search platform. What was formerly know as Google Places is now being labeled as Google+ Local, and I think you can infer what the centerpiece of this update will be.

So as you can see here, you NEED a Google Plus account to be seen locally now.

Similar posts


  1. Google Places Optimi's Gravatar Google Places Optimi
    May 2, 2012    

    This is a great time to making use of most effective Google places optimisation with your place page, which will help you to increase your search engine visibility in a simple manner. Simply by having a best place page on Google you can watch your sales skyrocket as per your expectations.

  2. April 30, 2012    

    Affordable Web Design Service Blog: Search engine optimization, web design, and webmaster tips » 10 Small Business Local Search Ranking Factors Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I've truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  3. April 8, 2012    
  4. April 5, 2012    

    Would you be keen on exchanging hyperlinks?

    • April 8, 2012    

      Nope – this type of SEO no longer has a big impact. It's not really worth it anymore.

  5. May 5, 2011    

    It’s a great post, you really are a good writer! I’m so glad someone like you have the time, efforts and dedication writing, for this kind of article… Helpful, And Useful.. Very nice post!

  6. April 6, 2011    

    Great post, and many thanks for the information. I hadn't given points 5 and 8 much thought, but it does make sense that Google would give more weight to a business places listing if the location and phone number are closer to the city centre. I am from New Zealand where most cities have less than 200,000 people so this won't apply to us so much.

  7. April 5, 2011    
  8. Carlos Martinez's Gravatar Carlos Martinez
    April 4, 2011    

    A great feature Google came up with tying a Map listing with a Google Places listing. It seems if a local business has a website that it is incorporated into the mix as well. Displaying a photograph in the listing seems like a huge advantage!

    I agree with Lindsey Brother's comment above concerning the importance of customer reviews and their encouragement. Social proof of a great business can be huge for a new customer's perception. Today managing a small local business' reputation online seems critical.

  9. Server Hosting's Gravatar Server Hosting
    March 31, 2011    

    These techniques are the foundation for any successful Google Maps campaign, but each situation is going to require a little custom work, based on the factors at play.

  10. March 25, 2011    

    yes this is excellent factors related to small business in local search.we can take this to promote our local business also this is applicable in national and international business!

  11. Blackberry applicati's Gravatar Blackberry applicati
    March 24, 2011    

    Google does everything to make search simple and easy and to provide people with relevant information. And I think that's logical to take into account the location of a user. I don't need bars or coffees in China if I live in London.

  12. March 24, 2011    

    I've never thought of this before. I think this is a good strategy for your Google ranking. A local business box will serve as a local directory where users can see when they search a particular place in Google.

  13. March 22, 2011    

    This idea of a Google maps is incredible. Google, indeed, is always leading in providing such services. This will improve their online services by providing specific local business locations, on the other hand, they are giving away the opportunity to every businesses in the local areas to be exposed or be advertised.
    I'm just wondering if it can be made available on mobile gadgets or particularly in our own cars. Good idea. Isn't it?

  14. Sunny Makkar's Gravatar Sunny Makkar
    March 17, 2011    

    Google is best search ranking factors. i think poing no. 3 is "Proper Categories" is best search ranking factors.

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