2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey is Up at @moz via @DarrenShaw_

Linda Buquet

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This year's Local Search Ranking Factors Survey is finally up & there's a ton of data to crunch!

Announcing the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey Results - Moz

I was unable to participate this year so can't take any credit for helping out on this one, but as always, some of the best gems are in the comments, so be sure to read all the way through.

Thoughts? Any surprises???
 

mborgelt

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I'm surprised how closely it aligns with the more data-based survey LSG did. Thanks for sharing some great insights in here, Linda!
 

Dave

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as always, some of the best gems are in the comments, so be sure to read all the way through.

Thoughts? Any surprises???
Linda: I agree. Many of the gems are in the comments. I'm still working through them.

Cripes: In the responses to the very first question, Lisa Kolb of Acorn through out a "mind blower" from my perspective. She knows the hospitality industry and more specifically B&B's. She referenced that ranking in the pac/maps is highly dependent on having bookings with OTA's (On Line Travel Agents//hotels.com/Expedia).

I had found a resort city where an awful lot of hotels had neither joined or disconnected from the OTA's. (they hate them).

When I did a maps search on HOTELS (city name)... 19 of the highest ranked hotels were all connected to the OTA's and in the next 20/ 16 of them were connected to the OTA's. I'd checked that city in the past: About 1/3 did not have OTA connections.

Wow. Lisa suggests that the Maps rankings are heavily influenced by financial concerns as Google has a financial connection to the OTA's.

Now that is a very big find.

The Gems are often in the comments. Keep going through them.
 

DanLeibson

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I'm surprised how closely it aligns with the more data-based survey LSG did. Thanks for sharing some great insights in here, Linda!
Definately, and I think the places of disalignment (Proximity) are some of the most interesting topics in local search right now.
 

JoyHawkins

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The only surprise for me was not seeing your name on the contributors list Linda ;)
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI Phil did an awesome summary of the best insights from the contributors.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Juiciest Comments from the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey via <a href="https://twitter.com/philrozek">@philrozek</a> <a href="https://t.co/jsnNovIdFC">https://t.co/jsnNovIdFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/WwYqHzMjZq">https://t.co/WwYqHzMjZq</a> <a href="https://t.co/adQIymXdJS">pic.twitter.com/adQIymXdJS</a></p>— Local Search Forum (@LocalSearchLink) <a href="https://twitter.com/LocalSearchLink/status/854698366760038401">April 19, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

KathyP

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Linda: I agree. Many of the gems are in the comments. I'm still working through them.

Cripes: In the responses to the very first question, Lisa Kolb of Acorn through out a "mind blower" from my perspective. She knows the hospitality industry and more specifically B&B's. She referenced that ranking in the pac/maps is highly dependent on having bookings with OTA's (On Line Travel Agents//hotels.com/Expedia).

I had found a resort city where an awful lot of hotels had neither joined or disconnected from the OTA's. (they hate them).

When I did a maps search on HOTELS (city name)... 19 of the highest ranked hotels were all connected to the OTA's and in the next 20/ 16 of them were connected to the OTA's. I'd checked that city in the past: About 1/3 did not have OTA connections.

Wow. Lisa suggests that the Maps rankings are heavily influenced by financial concerns as Google has a financial connection to the OTA's.

Now that is a very big find.

The Gems are often in the comments. Keep going through them.
I would agree very strongly with this and see it in the handful of accommodation providers sites that I manage. I did some switch testing with a site who has a presence on booking.com with making a room available and then removing it again. UK market

Room available and business is in the three pack and the price displayed. No room available then they drop below all the providers with availability available. Google checks the OTA's availability almost in real time (there is a very short delay between movement)

Clearly google have monetized the space and are on commission from the OTA's for the bookings pushed through local.

Availability (of the accommodation providers) is usually pulled from the OTA sites around 3 weeks in advance and typically a room price one night is displayed. My testing suggests this is not always the cheapest room but will typically be a double (2 person room) of some description. It seems to ignore larger or family rooms.

So yes for accommodation providers being signed up to an OTA and having available accommodation to book online through that OTA is a huge ranking factor in 2017.

It doesn't exclude you from the pack but you will show lower down below the properties which have availability. Google is also boxing clever in this area. It is not a defining factor in every single accommodation search just the higher searched terms...

Edit to add.
I did have an account on LSF a while back but it didn't work when I tried to login, hence the new account.
 

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