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  1. #1
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    Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Hi All,

    Looking at David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors Vol.5, it seems that the proximity of address to centroid (city centre) is vital at the moment.

    I (so far) have not had any clients that are far outside the city centre (in the outskirts) but have had a few enquiries recently from some who are. My question is...

    - How much more difficult is it if they are on the outskirts of the city centre (centroid)?
    - Does it make the job far more difficult? A case of working even harder at the other factors?

  2. #2
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Quick answer (swamped)

    Proximity is mainly a factor in the OLD 7 pack algo which only shows up for about 30% of KWs and usually the less popular.

    For core KWs the blended is usually at play and in blended it's 90 - 95% (IMO) about organic factors and location does not play a major role usually. For awhile there was something I dubbed the Proximity Lockout Algo. But it's pretty much gone now.

    One of my Dentists that was affected by Proximity Lockout - I optimized his site to rank high in blended BUT he's the very farthest dentist out in the boonies in his city, so no matter what I did I could not break out of the Proximity Lockout. BUT once the Proximity Lockout stopped, he now has a DOUBLE #1 ranking. He's #1 in organic AND in the A spot in blended, even though he's so far from city center he's literally almost in the next state over.

    So with good on-site Local SEO and local hooks you can still rank even if far from city center as long as address is still in that city.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  3. #3
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Thanks a lot Linda.

    It's good to confirm that there isn't a (too high) high barrier of entry for the folk in the suburbs of a city. After all, as long as they have a city address, they have every right to rank well for that city.

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Yep, very true Nick. When the prox lockout was in effect and you could only rank smack downtown I thought it was really unfair to both businesses AND searchers.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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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: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Hi Guys,

    So what you are saying is even though my business is about 25km for the centroid I could still break into the local pack by
    building strong local links / content and concentrating on the organic search results?

  6. #6
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Hi latin_sydney,

    I don't think anyone can say a specific distance because it's all relative. Depends on the search term, competition and other factors.

    Again as long as your address is in the same city, you have a chance of ranking typically. But yes work on all the organic factors and see how high up you can get.
    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. #7
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    I am a little too late to comment but I thought I would give it a try.

    "I don't think anyone can say a specific distance because it's all relative. Depends on the search term, competition and other factors".
    Wouldn't searcher location be an important factor as well? Doesn't Google display the local results based on the proximity of the searcher to those locations?





  8. #8
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Hey Mitchell, welcome! It's never too late to add a good comment around here!

    And yes you have a good point. Searcher location is key too!
    Thanks for weighing in!
    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. #9
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    Follow up question: if all things are equal, how important would you say the searcher location is as (a ranking factor) for a listing to appear higher in his results? Would it make any difference if he is searching from his mobile phone/tablet?

  10. #10
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    Re: Questions regarding "Proximity of Address to Centroid" Factor

    If all other factors are considered to be held equal (which is never the case... onsite hooks are different, link building, citations, content, etc... but lets just say they are in this case), then I would think location would be very important if using a mobile device, tablet, etc. At that point the "centroid" is no longer the center of the city, but the actual searcher. If someone is searching for "widget store atlanta" and your store is 20 yards away, then maybe you'd have a better shot of showing up higher since the location settings on the mobile device says you're closer than the rest of the competition.

    I'm sure many people will disagree with that idea, but it would make sense.
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