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How does "local" SEO work?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by steveaoki, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. steveaoki

    steveaoki Newbie

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    I'm running a "fun discovery" startup and starting to figure out how to win out on some smaller SEO terms. In the good ol' days it seemed simpler just to get backlinks, build good web pages and you'll rank.

    With Google bringing in your location (aka city/zip code).. the search for "things to do" becomes "things to do in San Francisco" or does it? How does google factor in their location element in their searches?

    I'd love some advice or resources I should read.
     
  2. captchadreams

    captchadreams Power Member

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    i'm kinda curious about this too.. if they use your ip for geolocation or what.

    i posted on a local forum people use here.. asking the question if someone was searching for a doctor on google what exactly they used as their search term.

    ie 'doctor' .. 'doctor city' .. 'doctor zip' .. unfortunately i only got 2 people to respond.. but they both said 'doctor city'.. i use zipcode normally though.. but i'd love to find out of 100 people or so how they search.
     
  3. captchadreams

    captchadreams Power Member

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    anyone?
     
  4. greyninja

    greyninja Newbie

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    It depends where youre searching from, in the US, ZIP is quite common or city/town, however in canada its usually city. Not sure about europe, australia, asia. anyone know about these locations?

    But then again if you dont put a geo modifier google uses your ip to bring up local results
     
  5. steveaoki

    steveaoki Newbie

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    I guess I was more wondering how it works with websites competing for that space. Like, how would I target my pages to specific cities. Would I just modify all my titles to focus strictly on a city rather than just writing "things to do"
     
  6. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    It seems like they have a different algorithum for Local. I can't figure it out, but the links you build to it are different than other types of links. Try to get links from other domains that have your city in them... Local government, newspapers, etc.
     
  7. mickeylove

    mickeylove Registered Member

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    I know this might be stupid, but do you think the google algo takes account of the geo location of people that connect to the site?

    As in disneyland orlando is connected to from worldwide, whereas, jim's deli orlando is traffic mainly local to orlando.

    I'm new and I don't know if that even makes sense, just a suggestion.

    If I were to search for a doctor I'd search 'doctor aa1' aa1 being the start of my postcode in england.
     
  8. coldfire

    coldfire Newbie

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    Check this out guys and maybe you will get a better sense.

    Search for say..."Valet Parking" look at your results. Now go through a proxy. Search for Valet Parking and notice the difference in results.
     
  9. Drink More Tea

    Drink More Tea Regular Member

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    Google places will turn off people from searching online for information, and someone else will have to enter that niche. It just returns too many bad results, as you would expect when trying to categorise every single business on Earth. Good idea, poorly planned, and poorly executed.
     
  10. mickeylove

    mickeylove Registered Member

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    I may be wrong, but google obviously knows where you are, and delivers results based on this, but how does it decide what is relevant to you, and how does it rank relevance?

    Is my idea about the location of people visiting sites totally wrong? I can't think of any other way, but it's very interesting nonetheless.
     
  11. Typlo

    Typlo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    1. Build yourself a blog using either your company name or your personal name. . Although people will tell you a website is not necessary to start (and it isn't!) it makes it much much easier . Get those sites ranked highly simply for the Domain Keyword Phrase. Although this doesn't make much sense for a SEO guy business owners will see that and go "wow you are good!". It sounds stupid but it works trust me .

    2. Write at least 5 killer articles about Local Business SEO (or Online Marketing or whatever Local Niche you are targeting) and refer your possible clients there. These articles should be KILLER! Take your time....

    3. Write a eBook about Local Business Marketing (or better yet get a PLR eBook) and get a Autoresponder service set up to collect emails. Seems pointless but you need to start this NOW!

    4. Start calling local businesses . Here is the kicker. You think you need to sell people on your services. YOU DON'T! Your clients are already out there presold and WAITING for you to call. You may not believe me but there are actually business owners out there who have a basic understanding of Local Internet Marketing and are just itching to try it. All you have to do is call up and say "Hi, I am a Local Business Internet Marketing Specialist and I am looking to partner up with a few local businesses in your area. I help you get you more customers. Are you interested?" Its that simple . Don't be afraid of getting nos cause you will get ALOT of nos.
     
  12. JesusBack

    JesusBack Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Google checks the location of the IP so if you have a domain "mugshotsvegas.com", when someone would search mugshots in google and they are in vegas it would show preference and an advantage to "mugshotsvegas.com".
     
  13. captchadreams

    captchadreams Power Member

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    do you think if you had a domain without your town in it.. but you had a google places account set up properly and had a link to your website it'd help in the rankings? or not really.
     
  14. steveaoki

    steveaoki Newbie

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    I think I've kind of figured it out.

    If you search "Things To Do" from an American IP address, it'll bring in websites that relate to your city (with 2 or 3 exceptions that link to "100 things you can do at home"). If you search specifically for "Things to Do [city name]", you'll get a similar set of results. Therefore, trying to rank for keywords like "things to do" are nearly completely forced to be localized. You may as well focus on the various locales like targeting keyphrases like "Things to do in San Francisco" rather than "Things to do". Furthermore, with some experimentation, I think that "Things to do"

    With that said, the search results between "things to do" and "things to do in [city name]" are similar but ordered differently. I wonder what affects that order. I wonder if localized backlinks would increase the website's prevalence.. affecting it at all. Also.. I'm looking at the "brands" vs. local sites. The vast majority that win out for these keywords are like TripAdvisor, Time or VirtualTourist... Thoughts? Worthwhile to even pursue for smaller cities?