Google shows different locations for organic vs local search results

Nick Rink

Jul 20, 2012
Strange local search happening that I've noticed and am wondering if anyone has seen anything like this elsewhere?

I'm in Wimbledon, which is in the London Borough of Merton. When I do a search for "keyword in Merton" the organic listings shown are for Merton here in London but the local results that Google shows are for Merton in Oxfordshire. Example link here is for "dentist in Merton" - merton dentist - Google Search - but I've tried it for accountants, solicitors, restaurants and more. Merton Oxfordshire results have the green box and Merton, London results have the red box.

dentist in merton   Google Search.jpg

I'm guessing it's something that probably happens in the US more than here, so would be interested to hear from anyone with any experience with this.


Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012
Really interesting stuff, Nick. I've seen this kind of thing a couple of times, but this example is a beauty.

I think what we're seeing is the collision of two factors: (1) that Google has a different algorithm for the organic and Google+Local (pack) results, and that (2) in this case Google isn't sure exactly which Merton you're referring to.

You'll see something similar in the States if you search for (let's say) "dentists in Jackson" and set the search location either to Jackson, MS, or to Jackson, MI. Let's say you change the search-location setting to Jackson, MS. Type in "dentists in Jackson" and the Google+Local results will be for MS, but you'll see some organic listings for dentists in Jackson, MI.

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