Is Service Areas A New Google Local Ranking Factor?

May 16, 2024 - 7:21 am 2 by

Google Local Service Van

A bunch of local SEOs are buzzing about a possible new local SEO Google ranking factor and are looking to confirm it. Darren Shaw posted on X that while setting the service area historically had no influence on your Google local rankings, that may now have changed.

Darren wrote, "Local SEOs have always known that setting service areas on your Google Business Profile has no impact on rankings. We've gone so far as to call this "factor" a local search myth." But now he said "I've heard a couple people say they think they're seeing an impact now, and yesterday, @JimAlle76608945 showed me some reasonably convincing data to support the idea."

Darren is going to test it more but he ran some quick tests and shared:

  • Using the lat/long data from Pleper, Jim noticed that his mobile notary business's "pin" was located in the middle of a farmer's field.
  • Local Falcon scans showed that he was ranking around that spot, but not ranking very well in the main area he wanted to target. (see "before" image)
  • He updated the service areas in GBP to be more tightly focused around the area he wanted to rank in.
  • Updated Local Falcon scans now show him ranking better in that area! (see "after" image)
  • Changing the service areas in GBP also changed the lat/long in Pleper to the area he was targeting.

He also shared this chart of before and after when changing the service area:

Google Local Ranking Chart

I see a lot of local SEOs buzzing about this - and it reminds me of the old days of web search SEO...

Here is Darren's post:

Forum discussion at X.

 

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