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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Pretty big news if this happens. Google is testing a new layout and if it happens it's going to be a problem.

    Myles from BrightLocal just gave me a head's up on a story they broke yesterday and was surprised no one was talking about this, because it could have a SERIOUS impact on those that do Local SEO for clients.

    Over in the UK Google is testing a new layout and that layout is MISSING the ability to select a "custom location". This is a feature that users would seldom need/want/use. Business owners are IN that city so they don't need to change location to check their rankings. It's only Marketing Companies and SEOs that need that feature!

    Head over and see the screenshots.

    Google search update - removes 'Custom Location' option | BrightLocal

    This weekend we spotted that Google is currently testing a new SERP layout which switches from using vertical navigation links to horizontal (see screen shots below).

    While reviewing these new layouts an ‘eagle-eyed’ member of our customer service team noticed that the ‘Custom Location’ option has been removed from the ‘Search Tools’ list.
    Is this just a test OR could it just be an oversight OR will this someday soon be the new normal?

    You KNOW how Google likes to hide stuff from us - like referral data and G+ Local categories.
    Will she blind our ability to check rankings via custom locations?

    What do you think???

    Test? Oops? Or ON NO, here we go again!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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  3. #2
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Interesting stuff. Well, if they get rid of it from the SERP, we can still use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool which can be set to a specific city. I doubt they will ever mess with that since it is designed for PAYING customers.

    The problem with that tool is that it has major limitations when it comes to local results.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  4. #3
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Ohhhh good point Colan. I knew of the tool but have never used it.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Good point about the Adwords tool, but I can imagine that becoming available only when you're logged in to your Adwords account.

    Thanks for the heads up on this, though, Linda. Doesn't surprise me one bit. All the info is going away. That's the trend.

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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Sure glad a couple of you commented. To me this is a pretty big deal. But started to think maybe Myles and I were the only ones that thought so.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #6
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    It's comforting to know that Myles and the team at Bright Local are on to it. According to their article their "engineers/developers are currently working on an update to our Local Search Rank Checker tool which will allow you to set you location as part of your search settings"
    Bright Local has some great SEO tools, and they adapt very quickly to changes in the Google environment.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  8. #7
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Colan he just replied back by email thanking you for your tip about the Adwords tool and said he's going to check that out too!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  9. #8
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    I just reported this to a Googler over at the Google Webmaster Forums where they are discussing other missing features and what people think of this new layout. I asked if it's an oops or what.

    Tools & Filters missing from Left Sidebar - "Search Tools" Useless - Google Groups
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  10. #9
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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Geez, here's to hoping it's an 'oops', Linda. I use this feature all the time.

    Oh, Google!

    Thanks so much for reporting.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

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    Re: Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO if So

    Thought I might chime in. This is what I'm seeing here on the east coast tonight...

    Name:  10-23-2012 9-15-52 PM.jpg
Views: 7644
Size:  164.0 KB

    So it appears I am able to customize the location. And, if I switch locations, Google Pack does return that location.

    Name:  10-23-2012 9-16-27 PM.jpg
Views: 1083
Size:  143.6 KB

    Anyone else seeing this, or have this capability?

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