The Logic Behind Google’s Local Algorithm

local algorithm

As search engines continue to develop, techniques that used to work may not be as effective anymore. If you don’t use Google’s Local Algorithm with your SEO every day, you might be confused about how important this algorithm is for your business.

Google’s local search algorithm is based on three key things: relevance, proximity, and prominence.

#1: Relevance

For relevance, the question is, “How relevant is this search term to my business?” Then, the search engine gives us a handful of businesses that might fit that relevance. Then prominence narrows them down based on popularity and which businesses are well regarded in their local market area.

#2: Proximity

For proximity, Google utilizes a user’s location to choose a business that matches their search inquiry. The question the algorithm asks is, “How close is the business to the person who is searching?” Proximity is what really defines the local algorithm—you want Google to be able to match specific search results to the location of your business.

To give you an idea of this, let’s say we have someone searching for hot fried chicken in a particular location. Their query is hot fried chicken, and if they were to search “hot fried chicken near me,” the businesses that pop up would be the ones the algorithm favors.

#3: Prominence

Business prominence is based on a few things: Google reviews, website rankings, location, etc. Going back to the hot fried chicken query, Google will most likely rank businesses by prominence. So, let’s say the person searching wanted hot fried chicken downtown because their lunch break is short, even though downtown might be farther from the searcher, Google will bring up hot fried chicken restaurants downtown because they fit the query.

If they search “hot fried chicken open now,” there might be multiple businesses Google pulls in, and they would all be considered by the algorithm based on relevance.

Now, if the searcher wanted the best hot fried chicken, the restaurant might be very far away or it could be a combination of different locations. Think of proximity as a fluid concept—it depends on the query, the searcher’s location, relevance to the query, and the prominence of the business to determine what Google will show in the local pack.

We know getting acquainted with Google’s local algorithm takes a lot of work on your end. That’s why we have a team of SEO experts ready to tackle any of your SEO-related problems and improve your local ranking on Google. Give us a call.

Category Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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