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Thread: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

  1. #1
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
    Linda Buquet is offline Community Leader - Google Local Specialist
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    Exclamation Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz



    The Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 was just published at MOZ.

    In this time of chaotic Google Local changes, you will want to be sure to read every word and bookmark it for future reference.

    I was honored to be selected as a contributor again this year, along with a distinguished group of local marketing experts from around the world to share insights and opinions about the most important Google local ranking factors.

    If you deal with Google Places/Google My Business/Google+ Local SEO, then you know David's Local Search Ranking Factors is considered THE holy grail for local search. Be sure to read it top to bottom, especially the wise comments from all the experts.

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    Head over to MOZ to analyze the interactive chart and read all the comments from the local search experts. The comments are worth their weight in gold!

    This one of course focused a lot on the recent reduced local pack and other Google changes. And the experts offer actionable advice about how to deal with the shakeup. They also share how this has changed the work they do for clients and where they are focusing more efforts now, as well as things they don't put quite as much effort into.

    Oh and good luck getting anything else done today!

    I admit I have not even had time to analyze it all yet. Rushed to get this out to share with you guys 1st.
    I may have comments after I have time to dig into it.

    PS Huge thanks go out again to David for coordinating everyone’s efforts and compiling all this data for the benefit of small businesses and the local marketing industry!

    Any surprises? Questions? Comments?

    P. S. BIG HAT TIP TO PRIYA CHANDRA, who broke the story here at 4 AM before I even woke up. But since I was a contributor, already had taken time to craft this post, had images ready to go and since I always post this news every year, I used this post instead.


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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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  2. #2
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    JoyHawkins is offline Top Contributor & Featured Author
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    I'm sure I'm going to have lots of commentary once I actually read the whole thing. I started and the first thing that kind of jumped out at me is the CTR being a ranking factor. I've seen so many contradicting studies on this lately and it seems to be a hot topic of discussion.

    Ex: a recent one I read was this article: Is CTR A Ranking Factor In Organic Results? which claims CTR is not a ranking factor.

    I'm hoping for some good sessions on this at SMX East next week.
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  3. #3
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    Thanks Joy and I loved all your insights!

    I've always thought CTR and stick rate are big factors. Even if you can't prove them with studies comprised of fake clicks - it is. Google looks at EVERYTHING in terms of how popular or relevant or helpful a search result is. And CTR, bounce rate, stick rate are all indications.

    Just digging in and OMG, sooooo many great tips!

    Since there is so much info, I just wanted to share one of my comments here, because with all the changes, people tend to lose sight of the fact that best practices that have worked all along, still apply.

    And I always like to point out the bright side, because any Google change has one. If there are some losers, then that means there are some winners that benefit too.

    I don’t think what it takes to rank has really changed much - best practices still apply. The algo did not change IMO, mainly just the display and the fact there are fewer spots. From what I’ve seen, in most cases whoever ranked in the top 3 in the old 7 pack is still in the same order at the top of the new 3 pack.

    I know SOME consultants that even see this as an opportunity. If you are really good and usually get your clients in the top 3 (which should always be the goal anyway) then this update just knocked out 42% of your competition!
    What do you think??? What was your best take away.
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    I'm sure I'm going to have lots of commentary once I actually read the whole thing. I started and the first thing that kind of jumped out at me is the CTR being a ranking factor. I've seen so many contradicting studies on this lately and it seems to be a hot topic of discussion.

    Ex: a recent one I read was this article: Is CTR A Ranking Factor In Organic Results? which claims CTR is not a ranking factor.

    I'm hoping for some good sessions on this at SMX East next week.
    The problem with user signals are that they are an even more opaque black box then the rest of the algo. Some things that work in some studies don't work in others, and they are all so small as to be in no way statistically significant. I think it is very likely an important ranking factor, but the way $GOOG measures that stuff internally may be wholly different then SEOs think.
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    Dan Leibson
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    Local SEO Guide Inc.
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    bczubiak is offline Member GMB++
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    ... and I was going to take off work early today.. guess not! Got some reading to do now!

  6. #6
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    JoyHawkins is offline Top Contributor & Featured Author
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    Yeah. It's interesting to see the difference between what people "assume" impacts ranking vs. what they've actually seen with clients. For me, click-through-rate is definitely probably a ranking factor and I would assume Google pays attention to it.

    However, I also assumed Google was going to eventually care about G+ activity and the exact opposite happened. G+ has virtually no impact on anything regarding ranking and this year's study showed that most people agreed on that.

    I think the biggest tip I got that I am going to act on was one from Matthew Hunt:

    "If you want to save time and only focus on the citations that matter most, then on section that under the snack pack that says “more ____” with the hamburger menu. Then you’ll see 20 of the top listings. Click on each and then scroll down their listing until you see their “Web results”, those are the citations you want to acquire. Get those top ones first because Google is already sorting the best citations based on their algo of relevance."

    What was yours Linda?

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  8. #7
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    Totally agree Joy. I love Matt's strategy. I've already added it to tomorrow's team meeting agenda

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    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
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  9. #8
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Local Search Ranking Factors 2015 - Just Released @Moz

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    I think the biggest tip I got that I am going to act on was one from Matthew Hunt:

    "If you want to save time and only focus on the citations that matter most, then on section that under the snack pack that says “more ____” with the hamburger menu. Then you’ll see 20 of the top listings. Click on each and then scroll down their listing until you see their “Web results”, those are the citations you want to acquire. Get those top ones first because Google is already sorting the best citations based on their algo of relevance."

    What was yours Linda?
    I had a crazy day. Still have not had time to read it all. But that's a good one!
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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