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  1. #1
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    Question Proximity Algo Lockout

    I saw another here in the forum talking about proximity algo lockout. Linda, said it isn't much of a problem today. But I was wondering is there a sure way or method to test if you are to far from the centroid to rank in places? Or is this an issue you wouldn't worry about today?

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    With the blended format and the higher emphasis on on-site optimization I see many businesses who are on outskirts of a city and still ranking. Often better than businesses that are much closer to the centroid.

    Not too sure if there is any sure way to test.

    Interesting question!
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Hi Marie,
    While I don't know of a sure-fire test, basically, what I do is to perform a generic (non-branded search) in maps.google.com. Let's say my client owns a restaurant serving Italian food in Piedmont, CA. So, I would search for 'italian restaurant piedmont ca'. What one often can see is a cluster of businesses near one another with mainly high letter rankings. If your business is far away from this cluster, it could be slightly disadvantageous, but, as Colin says, there are tons of businesses way beyond the cluster that rank just fine.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    1 second what both Colan and Miriam said.

    Echo Colan in that it's mainly blended these days which is more about on-site SEO strenth and you can rank far outside the centroid. See example below.

    Plus I kinda do what Miram does, but differently. I search on regular Google and check to see how far out the ranking cluster goes.

    My fav example illustrates both points above.

    Seattle Chiropractor. Check the map. The A listing is WAYYYY north of the city. You can see the primary cluster and how they are mainly downtown but E and A break out and rank.

    But when the proximity lock out was in effect that map was zoomed in so tight that it only showed downtown listings. Even cut off the map so the current E listing was cut out of page one and that one is only about a mile from downtown. It was very clear at that time looking at the map that if you weren't inside that tight map radius you were out of luck.

    For a blast from the past, here's the examples I showed of the proximity lockout in Oct 11.



    But again now it's different and with enough organic strength you can rank even on the outskirts of a city.
    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".

  5. #5
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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Thanks for the great input! I live in an area that is in the outskirts and of course everyone wants to rank in the big city! What I am finding on the map is the companies North of the City in the outskirts are ranking on the maps but not the companies South of the city. Your tips are great and helps a bit when trying to see if a client has a chance to rank.
    Thanks for posting the example. I was looking at another example you put in the forum on the same topic yesterday (Linda) and it was another great example!!

  6. #6
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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Linda;

    It seemed to me, when the "proximity algo lockout" was being observed, it was more a case of google randomly changing and testing different "location prominence" perspectives with Maps showing in google.com. At times they responded to a search with a geo description for Seattle with smb's JUST inside the city borders. At other times they expanded the location prominence and included significant suburban areas for the Seattle region (and other regions). I thought it was a matter of testing.

    Now if you had a business in the suburbs, and the "location prominence" or "proximity algo lockout" was in effect with TIGHT borders that focused only on the city...you were out of luck, no doubt.

    In my experience its one of those things out of our control, as google has continuously tested different ways to show results, and similarly it tests the responses over huge volumes of data.

    Really the only way to "beat" something like that is with the prominent and powerful strict SEO for a phrase such as "Seattle Chiropractor" so strong that regardless how much geography the Maps/Pac wishes to show you have a listing that sits above the Pac.

    At least that is my $0.02.

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    I haven't tested this myself but what about this scenario...

    Does Google skew the results based on your specific IP address? Example: I live in Blaine, MN - a north suburb of Minneapolis, MN. If I search for "dentists minneapolis mn" would I tend to get G+ local results that skew on the north side of Minneapolis - vs. someone conducting the same search in the heart of Minneapolis, MN (who might see results almost entirely in the centroid)?

    Travis Van Slooten
    TVS Internet Marketing: Helping Small Businesses Increase Their Visibility & Sales Online.

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Good Point Travis. I can tell you that I am very south and my searches still show me the city and north of the city. I don't get any south results. But now you have me very curious so I will have to test this out a bit.

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Van Slooten View Post
    I haven't tested this myself but what about this scenario...

    Does Google skew the results based on your specific IP address? Example: I live in Blaine, MN - a north suburb of Minneapolis, MN. If I search for "dentists minneapolis mn" would I tend to get G+ local results that skew on the north side of Minneapolis - vs. someone conducting the same search in the heart of Minneapolis, MN (who might see results almost entirely in the centroid)?

    Travis Van Slooten
    Travis: I can't speak for that phrase in particular but I do test and retest for certain of our smb's with regard to certain phrases, again and again. I test by resetting the location for different suburbs around a central city. The smb picks up traffic all around the metro region for a variety of phrases. Clearly on some phrases rankings and the pac change subject to location. On other phrases nothing changes.

    Its really subject to each phrase and the strength of any particular page for that phrase, all within the geo territory.

    at least in my experience

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    Re: Proximity Algo Lockout

    Hi Travis,


    Usually the ISP local IP data is not the correct one. In case you live in the north part of the city but the ISP set all IPs on the South Part and Google will rely on this factor, then your results will be from a different city area than your current location.

    Also is not clear enough where are you running the searches?

    - on google organic search
    - on google maps/places
    - or google local ?

    because each one is providing different rankings

    Same time device is important as mobiles are sending to google "GPS data" and in this case the results are much more accurate.
    GeoRanker - Local SEO Analysis Platform. Got any question? #AskSergiuD - by Twitter

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