Google Local Search Results Boundaries


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I know for a while, Google local results were City Center centric. It would make more sense to make them "searcher" centric, and I believe that is the direction Google is trying to go with some of the changes in the Pigeon update. The best "searcher" results would not be limited to the boundaries of a specific city, but may also include results that are in neighboring cities that are actually closer to the searcher's physical location.

i.e. searcher is on edge of city, near other metro area city boundary. Best search results would include those businesses closest to him/her no matter which city they were in.

Has anyone seen search results indicating that this is happening. Or read specific statements from Google on that as a goal?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Brent,

It's a common misconception that centroid is city center. Centroid is actually the center of the most popular cluster of businesses for that term in that city. So for instance if all the car dealers are way south that's where the centroid is, not downtown.

But yes many experts are saying it's been changing and now the centroid is the user. Especially true with mobile.

Have not seen Google come out and say it, but then again, they normally don't tell us how the algo works.
 
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Thanks Linda! Do you know if the user centered search is still primarily contained within the user's city boundary, or is more generalized to his/her area?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Brent,

Not sure and I doubt anyone knows for sure. Plus it would vary based on KWs and location.

I do know that now I'm seeing more listings rank in nearby cities than before. Pre-Pigeon you'd normally only see pack listings in the query city. Now other strong listings from other towns show in some packs.

You could scour Bill Slawski's SEO by The Sea blog. He dives deep into Google search patents and there may be something there about it. But just because G got a patent, does not mean they are using the theories in it yet, or ever.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Listings not listed in the city of search are now ranking in city of search if they are close in proximity and strong enough to list.

That has been happening since Pigeon.
 

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