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  1. #1
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    Arrow What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

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    Over the last few days this query has been making it’s rounds as something of a hot mystery: https://www.google.com/search?q=** If you haven’t gotten to see/play around with it yet, go ahead and do it. I will still be here when you get back. Honestly my interest in the query has been slim. Until I was […]

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  2. #2
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    Certainly interesting. I wonder if this is related to some kind of new review search? If you go past 5 * you don't get any results.

    so: **, ***, ****, ***** all give odd results... anything past 5 or less than 2? Nope.

  3. #3
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    Interesting theory, but I'm not sure that is the case. The same businesses show up in "**" and "*****" for me and none of these have 5 stars:

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    Dan Leibson
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  4. #4
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    Yeah I don't think it relates to reviews now, but why else would that search return any results? Makes me think maybe it could be some short hand for review-type searches, nevertheless it interesting.

  5. #5
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    Another interesting observation:

    'what is seo' vs 'what is seo **', both return a knowledge box, but different sources.
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  6. #6
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    Did you guys ever figure this out?
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  7. #7
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    I don't think so. I think we've actually got more questions than we had initially. :|

  8. #8
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    This is just a Wildcard operator. Each asterisk (*) is a placeholder for any word or words. This is used for when you might only remember some of the words in a phrase you want to search. See here: Google's * Wildcard Operator - Google Guide

    To verify this try it out with any other keyword(s) and notice what Google bolds as matches in the search snippets - phrases with your keyword(s) and other words - the wildcards.

    The reason you get weird local results when searching only with this is Google algos are adding in your search location factors, and any other factors they might have such as search history, bookmarks, etc. (more of these if logged in or using chrome.) That is all it has to go on if you don't put in any real word search terms.

    Can be a good way to gauge website classification/trust/authority (whatever you like to call it) for certain words on a different playing field, if you get what I mean...

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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    I was just going to say double wildcards but was just guessing.

    Thanks Broland, everything you said makes perfect sense of this!
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  10. #10
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    Re: What In The **? - Local SEO Guide

    I'm 99.99% certain that it's not double wild cards but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Dan Leibson
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    Local SEO Guide Inc.
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