Reverse Engineering the Google Local Algo

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,440
Trying to understand what's changed in the latest iteration of the Google Local Algo? Well, you aren't alone - many of us are and there has been much speculation among industry leaders.

For awhile some where saying the algo had switched to pure maps or pure local results. All along, I've said I'm still seeing primarily organic results at the top of the pack, just like I illustrated in this post:
How the Google Local Algo Really Works - What Rules the Ranking Order

I'm in a Local Mastermind group with a bunch of industry leaders and Adam Steele, one of the members asked for my help on a story he was working on and just published.

Stop Spraying and Praying - Understanding Local Results

Easy enough. BUT, did you know that result 1 might be blended, 2, 3 and 4 local only, and the rest blended? Ya? You must read Mike?s blog you smart cookie you. Suppose you are in position two, and you are banging your head against the wall, have hundreds of citations, reviews, etc, and are doing a little link building/earning too. If you knew position one was blended, you?d know to perhaps to try and throttle back the local, and punch the organic factors. Imagine the time, money and head banging you?d save yourself. Well, we didn?t know how, and really weren?t even investigating it until Mike?s post. Someone kiss this man right now.

So, we need to figure out what is what. The ?how? is pretty simple, and I will get into that. I would like to start by sharing a bit about some interesting research we did. With all the turbulence in the SERPs lately, we wanted to figure out what was the typical pack makeup these days. Perhaps if we could figure this out, we could make assumptions on how we ought to throttle our efforts (as mentioned).
Need to click the link and head over to read the rest for some very interesting analysis.

I still maintain, with the very limited results I look at with my very slow manual method, that organic rules the top of the pack in most cases - but it does vary somewhat based on market, KWs and competition.

But the bottom line is, there are MULTIPLE Google algos going on all the time. They can shift like the wind too. But the same optimization best practices apply no matter which algo is at play. You really need to work on organic as well as local factors to have a chance of showing up, regardless of how the customer searches and which search results Google serves up.

Let's put our head's together and analyze Adam's data to see if we can figure it out.

Do you think packs are still blended? Still organic on top? Or are they all local now?
 

Jason Kamara

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
28
I caught that post last week and actually read it a couple times. It certainly jives with what you and Mike B have pointed out previously.
 

Adam Steele

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
35
Thank you for sharing Linda! Glad a few folks found some value : ) I had a heck of a time writing the post - mostly getting it to make sense. The terminology is tricky. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them.
 

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