Local Search & Blended Results

Feb 26, 2008 - 6:57 pm 2 by
Filed Under SMX West 2008

Moderator: Vanessa Fox, Features Editor, Search Engine Land Q&A Moderator: Matt McGee, SEO Manager, Marchex

Found a hot spot for power and to comfortably blog a session. Plugged in and blogging in live mode.

Chris Smith, Lead Search Strategist, NetConcepts is first up. Common search phrases that invoke local include location name like city names. The most common combination is a business name / category, biz name, category with location, biz name / category in location, near location and around location. For example, Circuit City near Santa Clara.

He shows local blended in Live Search and shows at the top of the organic results are local search results. If you click deeper on the local results, you see more results. How do search engines rank these local results? He shows that with Live Search user rating plus proximity to center of location may determine the top placements in local search.

He then shows Yahoo and shows how has a slightly different look for local, still three listings here, as with Live. Yahoo has similar ranking formula but he thinks Yahoo has more signals, including page popularity. He also says that maybe Yahoo's delcious site may impact the Yahoo local results.

Now Google, Google now shows ten local listings - up from three results. They show a map, and yes, the results are near center of city. Some criteria include regular SEO criteria. Google has increased the amount of info in the one box. Google is increasing travel/maps market share according to hitwise. Google has a limited set of business categories. Businesses without street addresses wont be listed. OVer emphasis on centroid proximity non optimal. Normal probabilities with cannonicalizign listings, proper, geocoding and spamming.

Tips: - Get an address near central location of the city


Gab Goldenberg, Owner, SEO ROI is next up - seems like a brother. ;-) He is from montreal, ranks well for SEO Montreal in Google in the local.

Cast Study:

Bought MontrealSEO.ca for the keyword rich domain. Before that, he was on a blogspot domain. So he wanted to 301 the blogspot to the new domain. Before the 301, he did a sticky forward technique. Then he submitted to Google local, the montrealseo.ca domain. He he has three listings in Yahoo for seo montreal, numbers 1 and 2 and 10. Google couldn't figure out his canonical intent at that time. He built links and then added reviews in Google Maps.

Planning: Begin with the end in mind. He gives some ideas on doing videos on local business owners. Do local reviews for sites.

Make sure to set up a review funnel - Mail/Email follow up - Incentives - Good and bad - Direct or Review API

He then gives the ten commandments of paid links,,, I'll keep that for people who came to the conference.

Eric Lander, Associate Editor, Search Engine Journal is next up.

He shows a Google OneBox example for Santa Clara Sushi. He then shows how local results are blended into a search result, the Google Local plus/minus box. Yahoo is a bit more traditional, Yahoo one ups Google by showing a rating by users there. Live Search is very traditional but was a bit more disappointed.

Verified Listings: - Manually verified feed via Google Local, Yahoo Local and Windows Live. - Feed Based Solution to submit for businesses with many locations, such as ReachLocal, Localez and infoUSA.com.

Who are Trusted Sources? - Internet Yellow Pages: SuperPages, YellowPages, YellowBook - FeedProviders: InfoUSA, Localeze - Social, Review & Niche Sites: Yelp, CitySearch, Automotive.com, etc.

Tips: - Cross link your contact pages to MapQuest or other mapping service - Verify your unverified listings, multiple data sources can lead to troubles - Free Tools: Localeze's merchant profile manager lets you update your business profiles for free - Search categories and users: Local search is very much social, user reviews, etc.

On the Q&A panel are the speakers plus:

Brian Gill, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Local Kevin Hagwell, Senior Product Manager, Live Search Maps, Microsoft


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