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Local SEO Rankings

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by jefferymavers, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. jefferymavers

    jefferymavers Newbie

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    Alrighty BWH'ers,

    I've got the organic SEO learning pretty much down at this point and I'm "moving on up" to the local SEO, but I gotta tell ya, I have a lot of question marks.

    My goal, as I see it, is to get a listing to the top position in it's listed city AND in every zip code search within said city. With massive amounts of organic work on it's webpage and it's G+Local page maxed out with everything under the sun, I would still wonder if it's even possible.

    From what I can see there is an SEO bump that can make listings appear even in a neighboring city, but when zip codes are used it seems big G gives a lot more weight to the businesses within said zip code making that type of search hard to beat. theoretically, in order to beat them you'd have to have so much SEO that no one could come close to your sites juice. This would make sense on G's part in that it would be near impossible to gain top position on most things, but if you have a client and they want to rank in "City A," technically you'd need to rank in every zip code because when G gets a generic search for say, "auto repair," it will couple that with the zip code the G account is logged into.

    Is there a guru in the house? Anybody wanna take me to school?
     
  2. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I don't understand the question. It sounds like the question is based on the assumption that Google uses zip code as a secondary factor in determining rank, and that a business that is outside the zip code of the search's query is at great disadvantage in competing with businesses that are inside the searchers zip code.

    Which is new news to me, because I don't think Google uses Zip Codes as a primary geo-factor after city. From what I've read, Google establishes a "center" of an urban area, and the closer the business is that that center, the more of a boost they get. Nothing an SEO can do about that. The second factor I believe in is the general area of the searcher's IP address. Results are geo "personalized" by IP Address. I've never heard of the zip code as having any relevance to influencing or determining search rank. It may be a factor.

    Have you ever noticed that searches, particularly in large urban areas, are skewed in favor of a single, or a few, specific zip code? I never had. I've never read any article or other reference that mentions zip code as a factor in determining local search results, and I wonder why you think this.

    It also sounds as if you believe that optimizing for kw's that include the zip code (i.e. "dry cleaners 97201") will naturally result in improved search rankings, but I think that completely depends upon how frequently searches include the zip code into their search, and not some special boost that are given to non-zip code inclusive kw searches by Google, just because some businesses have optimized for particular zip codes better than others. But it's an interesting idea. Maybe backlinking with anchor text "auto repair xx123", "auto repair xx343", etc... and doing onsite seo for that also.
     
  3. orlandolongwood

    orlandolongwood Junior Member

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    I've been working with a lot of local ranking issues with my clients lately. Here is what I've found:

    • Google seems to group ranks very close to Yelp "neighborhoods" for many businesses.
    • I've noticed a lot of businesses rank pretty similarly within the lowest regional Adwords grouping - for example, we have several neighborhoods that can be targeted by Adwords, and the ranking within those neighborhoods are consistent when crossing zip codes.
    • Google has some inherent service area determination based on the business - most likely related to SIC codes. What does this mean? The service area for a car dealer is much larger than the service area for an oil changing station. So the rules differ depending on the business.
    • Using rich snippets really works - so a blog post for a lawn service in Metropolis that tags their post about a big landscaping project in Smallville that includes a zip code may be all you need.
    • Zip codes in title tags aren't working as well as they used to.
     
  4. jefferymavers

    jefferymavers Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    B. Friendly: I understand why you'd have a hard time with my question, but you hit it right on the head. Yes, I believe that the search term + your zip code are the two things G uses when returning local results. Why? Because:

    A. Every G account has the "location" box on the left of the search page.

    B. If you search "auto repair" within Metropolis with the zip code 12345 plugged in you get one set of results. If you change the zipcode to another zipcode that still resides within Metropolis, let's say 12346, you get a totally different set of results. One could make the assumption that the "city center" of Metropolis is a bit irrelevant.

    This is what I'm basing my assumptions off of. Plus the fact that IP addresses are not very good at determining exact location and can sometimes be miles off.

    orlandolongwood: If using rich snippets really works, theoretically one could list every zip code, city and keyword they'd like to rank for?


    Thanks again for the great responses guys. I gotta say, this seems a lot more in depth than regular organic SEO. I'm up for the challenge. But I've got to ask once again, is it possible to have top ranking for multiple zip codes within a city? Can one dominate a city region? I've not seen this ever happen, and like I say, I think you'd need some crazy heavy organic going on. I mean, once G Places is done with, that's the only thing one can work on at that point (besides reviews, citations, etc).
     
  5. twistedtrick

    twistedtrick Power Member

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    I've never tried to rank for specific zip codes before, but I imagine if you created individual pages on your client site for keyword-zipcode and loaded up the title tags you should be able to rank no problem.

    (I just looked up the SERPs for a few keyword-zipcode combos in my city and the sites ranking #1 are massive sites that do www.domain.com/state/zip/keyword-zipcode.html)