Traditional searching on Google focuses on key phrases: words in the Title, words on the page, words in links coming in from other sites.

But when you throw Geography (or “local search”) into the searching mix, then it gets more complicated. The search engines pull other data from other sources – specifically other sources of geographic data.

Here’s an example of a local search for “architect Leicester.” Look carefully at the results above, and see that whilst the first company on the list has a green website address listed, the second and third companies are NOT found by their websites, but rather by Google’s own mapping data.

Also note that here in the UK, entries are listed in order of proximity to the central postcode.

And of course, these Local Results for a search appear at the top of the Google search page.

If you’re interested in getting found for local searches then consider doing the following:

  1. Get in entry in Google’s Local Business Centre. It’s free, and it confirms to Google the combination of what your business does and where your business is located.
  2. Get links from other reliable local directories: Thomson directory, Chambers of Commerce, city directories like Touch
  3. Consider getting localised entries in the major directories like DMOZ and Yahoo.
  4. Get listings in specialised directories, also known as Vertical directories. For a profession like an architect, this is entries on sites like BuildingTalk, Building Standards Agencies, Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers, etc.
  5. Make sure your site is optimised for your locality, either by including address information, or mentioning places that your business serves.

Local search is a complex topic, so have a look at this article 10 Likely Elements of Google’s Local Search

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