Google Gets Generic on Local Web Search Queries

Apr 8, 2009 • 8:28 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

The Google blog announced that Google is now showing more local results in web search for more generic queries. This is something that was noticed before the announcement but now it is officially confirmed by Google.

This means that searches for local-like keywords no longer need to have a location in the query. For example, a search on web design automatically shows me a local box in the middle of the Google web search results, without me specifically specifying web design, suffern, ny, which then shows the local box at the top of the results. Here is a picture of Google detecting that I am near the city of Monsey, in New York and it even ranks my company in the number two spot.

Google Local Generic Now

Google explains how they get your location:

In most cases, we match your IP address to a broad geographical location. You can also specify your likely location using the "Change location" link on the top right corner, above the map.

These searches work for a wide range of keywords, such as restaurants], [dentist], [groceries], [sporting goods], [flowers], [bank], [gym], [post office], or even [111 8th ave].

My big question is why are there so little people discussing this new change in Google in the forums? I know there are plenty of blog posts on this topic, but very few forum threads.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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David Dalka

04/08/2009 01:18 pm

I'm not a fan of this. Ultimately, it opens the door for this one day to be made a paid inclusion product. I'm also not a fan of alot of the word joins that were broken with code changes made by Google back in March. Who is Google to tell the user and force local is better in all cases? California sustainability gone mad? It comes across as telling the searcher something they didn't see. Giving the searcher any information that wasn't expressly expressed sets a bad, bad precedent. It would be far better to teach searchers to add qualifing words - which they do not do nearly enough! With your web design example I have a friend that went through 10 web designers before he found the one he wanted - in Brazil! If someone gets cancer are they looking for a local solution or the best treatment money can buy regardless of location? I'd prefer the latter if it was me. Worse, what if I'm a online only business like Market Motive? Should a user be directed towards a local solution with high fixed real estate costs that would likely cost more? I'd say no. Google built it's reputation (and market share) on pointing users to the highest quality content. The Google local business data simply does not do that with the same relevancy that traditional SERP does and they should roll back this change. If they don't they are creating an awesome opportunity for market share shift if another search engine could actually execute on it.

No Name

04/13/2009 09:31 am

Latest google local search results updates are live and i too see local search results for one of my potential keywords

No Name

04/15/2009 12:52 pm

This feature would be great for us, as we're a manufacturer of a basement finishing system with a network of dealerships, but it hasn't reached our industry as far as I've seen. Can't wait for it... but what will it mean to the corporate site?

No Name

04/15/2009 12:56 pm

As a local search marketer, I think this is great. If the local business results could be cleaned up -- as many in the services industry are full of duplicates and spam -- this would be helpful.


05/06/2009 05:28 pm

This should really help get rid of rif raf as well: I was searching for one of our clients the other day that is DYING to be found under a very generic term, we kept seeing him as number 7 in Google, however, the client could not see himself. It was indeed a mix of Google local that we were seeing and he was not. I just ultimately hope it helps get rid of the 'junk'.

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