September 12th, 2011 / Local Search

The Google Places Mystery Meat

Mike Blumenthal wrote an interesting post about Google Places. It seems one small business owner got irate with Google for de-indexing her website – or maybe just dropping her in the rankings.

The secret sauce in Google Places has an interesting flavor. Of course, like a lot of things in life, there are no guarantees.

What you need to understand about Google Places listings is that they are based on location. For instance, if a searcher in south Ayrshire is looking for an auto mechanic, the listings for auto mechanics that searcher will be based on proximity to the searcher’s location. The closer, the higher the ranking.

Flip that around. The searcher is on the northern end of Ayrshire and searching for an auto mechanic. That searcher will see an entirely different list. The higher ranked mechanics will be located closer to the searcher’s location on the north.

That’s not the only criteria, of course. Other things matter, too. But location is a huge part of ranking in Google Places. Don’t think that you are left out in the cold just because someone on the other side of town can’t see your business. It may be that there is a lot of competition between you and that searcher’s location.

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