Friday, August 13th, 2010

Game-Changing Local Search Results Discovered on Google


A copy of the astounding google local results found by the guys over at

{Update: The local results are live as of October 27th, 2010. For more information read “Google’s New Local Results – How to Adapt“} The original article now begins…

Chris Boudreaux and Adam Edwards over at stumbled across Google search results for a highly local term that spells trouble for anyone who has not spent time focusing on Local SEO.

What do I mean? After all, what could Google possibly do to make local such a big deal? How about removing ALL organic search results in favor of local results! In this case the local search utilized was highly localized which is the only way this sort of result should ever be triggered. The search was for “car rental nyc” and the results were jaw-dropping… nothing but local listings were in the results where the organic rankings used to be.  Here is a link to the full-size screenshot that Chris and Adam used to document this event (I copied it to my server in case theirs got overburdened).

What does this mean for you?

First of all it is important to understand that this local search layout is by all accounts a limited test; especially since no one has been able to repeat it. That said, our industry stumbles on sneak peeks like this occasionally and they usually provide helpful insight into upcoming changes to Google’s results. So, if you are a business owner and you rely on local customers coming through your door then it is critical for you to spend some time honing your site for top local search rankings.

You might say “it’s okay, we already have great SEO on our site!” That is good news for organic rankings but unfortunately, local SEO results are governed by a different set of factors and a different algorithm. In fact, you don’t even need a website to get ranked in local search results! If you go to Google Places you will get a decent introduction to the local listings and it will show you how to claim your business profile if you haven’t done so already. Just remember to read this before you start customizing your Google Places profile so you make the most of your hard work.

I will have a lot more information for you on local SEO very soon. Stay tuned!

PS. If you want to get ahead of the rush and boost your Google local rankings please drop us a note (via quote request or our contact form) because we have the local SEO expertise to help you do just that.

9 Responses to “Game-Changing Local Search Results Discovered on Google”

  1. Frank Reed

    Google has been busy with this idea for a little while now.

  2. Ross Dunn

    Hey thanks for the link Frank, great article from you and it is good to see more background on this info. Do you think Google will go the 100% local route? Seems pretty radical but it has some merit.

  3. Matt Dixon

    Very interesting article Ross! My mind is now turning on how this will eventually affect small businesses and organizations trying to reach a larger audience than their local area? Please keep us posted!

  4. Ross Dunn

    Thank you Matt, it was largely a heads up based on some great research at – those guys did a great job catching that info. Anyway, I am glad you found it thought provoking – I sure did!

  5. Antoine Burwell

    Hello please pardon my errors, it is not my first language. I found your article on Technorati ” Game-Changing Local Search Results Discovered on Google | StepForth Web Marketing Inc.” was essentially close to what I was hunting for, but after carefully reading through your article I still was not able find straight-forward answer to my question and this is driving me psyho. I love your blog and think it is honestly handy but I think you can make it even better if you fine-tune your internal website search to make it easier for people to find information within your blog. It can be easily done by installing wp addon… If I am not mistaken plugin is called advanced search it has some helpful features like searching pages, search comments. If you have any questions about adding enhanced blog search you can always contact me at Thank you I hope you have a great day

  6. Ross Dunn

    Hi Antoine,

    Thank you very much for your kind suggestion/recommendation to enhance our website. I will pass along the comments to my webmaster and we will talk about how to improve things. I am aware our website needs a lot of work but I always put user-recommendations high up on our list of things to-do.

    Ross Dunn

  7. Tess

    The opposite is happening in my market/area. We are only getting organic and paid results without any local listings appearing at all unless you click on Maps.
    I got here after trying to do a search to find out about it and it seems I just can’t get an answer.
    I’m looking at “Coogee web design” and “Coogee internet marketing” and both only show up in Maps but none of the local biz listings show up in the organic search results.
    The results are completely different and the top ranking biz in Maps is definitely not the same as on the search results page.
    Can anyone suggest why this is happening here?

  8. Ross Dunn

    Hi Tess, thanks for your comment and question. Before I delve into it, can you check those results again as of today? The reason I ask is Google has just released these results I spoke of (in this article) and it may be affecting you in Australia as well. I am curious to know. Thanks

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