Google and the Local Burger

Andrew Shotland joins in the discussion of Google’s move to show local results for general or ambiguous queries. He points out that one can now get a local result for the query “burger.” 

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It was pointed out to me in a comment to the previous post that Google has actually been testing this since late last year and has now decided to roll it out more extensively. Assuming this is correct Google must have seen users positively respond to the presence of the map and the 10 pack in these situations. 

There’s all kinds of discussion about how this will affect SEO going on at SEL and elsewhere. Matt McGee points out that the ISP location matters even more now because IP targeting is the way that Google will identify what local results to show. Inevitably the examples of horribly wrong results start to appear. Today at the Web 2.0 event in San Francisco, somebody told me that he was getting results for Arizona when he tried it out. 

Eventually this will all be moot because IP targeting will be largely superseded by other methods of location identification (triangulation/GPS) baked into the device and/or the browser. 

Google is also getting data from NearbyNow (maybe Krillion) on the product side and we should start to see more local product data start to appear in Shopping if not in search results too.

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3 Responses to “Google and the Local Burger”

  1. earlpearl Says:

    Greg: I’ve been following the phenomena for several months. In fact I checked my email. I’ve got to get back to David Mihm who first informed me of this. I responded back to him about this phenomena as of end of January this year. I don’t know how long before that he had noticed the phenomena. My somewhat less trafficked, somewhat less popular business topics/websites have been receiving this traffic for at least 2 months.

    Here is what I’ve seen. Leading up to this phenomena one business site in particular, as referenced earlier had always ranked highly for the most popular generic business term. In fact starting in September 08 it vaulted in G rankings from about 5 or 6 to 2,3, or 4. Those are big traffic changes as they take the site above the “fold” and dramatically increase traffic. W/in Google and other search engine rankings the site title clearly identifies our geographic region; the Washington DC area.

    Regardless, with higher rankings visits to the site off of the generic business term soared. BUT…….

    It wasn’t until the map insert for the generic business term began showing….that another key component started to hit.

    Conversions for the generic business term increased dramatically once the 3pac/tenpac started showing for the generic (non geo) business term.

    From a traffic perspective it is significant. From an SEO perspective it is significant but doesn’t diminish all of the other aspects of SEO. I still receive endless critical long tail searches with geo phrases. In total they far outweigh the traffic from the generic (non-geo) industry phrase.

    The business site in question, and the search phrase, was not of the type that Yahoo identified with local maps. Of interest it was ranked #1 at Yahoo for years for that term. In fact for several years, for some reason, Yahoo left out the geographic terms of the title. The only thing that showed in the rankings was the Name of the business. Two of the words in the title represented the number 1 industry term for the business.

    Needless to say that brought in huge traffic. The overwhelming difference is that the traffic w/ the 3pack/10 pack map in organic search brings in a high percentage of conversions . It is relevant and important.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Very interesting. Thanks.

  3. Dev Basu Says:

    Google has been testing this feature since December 1st 2008 – I wrote about it at http://devbasu.com/google-suggest-local-search-keywords-generic-searches/. It was only a matter of time before they launched it worldwide, but now that they have, it’ll be very interesting to see what the traffic ramifications are.

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