Have Google Scrapped Their Local Listing Algorithm? How Will Google Places Produce Results?

The hype surrounding integrated local results is just about dieing down, however it has left a large amount of businesses who don’t have a physical address in multiple locations, wondering how they are going to maintain rankings for local results.

Directory style websites that used to lap up geo targeted terms will now find their organic results replaced by the new but messy Google places results;

places results

After looking into this in some detail I really don’t think a trusted site is going to suffer regardless of the new results and here’s why…

Look at the results for “hotels manchester”..

hotel places

Do late rooms really have a physical hotel address in Manchester?? Nope, but they still rank as a places listing.

That’s not all though, we then move onto the ridiculous results;

cars places

Apparently Sainsbury’s Bank is a relevant places result for the search term ‘cars london’ , hmmmm…..

The question is, why!!

The Failure of Google Local

Everybody that has ever dealt with Google local in the past will know the system was flawed, first there was the messing around to get registered and then you had the reviews, references, map number algo that never really worked.

So what have Google done?

Well, it’s obviously not confirmed yet but I believe the algo involves the following somehow;

On Page Optimisation

First you need to have a page relevant to the query, so turn back the clock and add keywords to all those headings :)

You need an Address

It doesn’t need to be registered with Google you simply need to display it on your page relevant to the query and tagging it up may also assist getting on the places results.

Local References

Last but not least, a listing on a directory related to your location will go a long way.

So to sum up this post, Google are scrapping the old local algo and registration in favour of finding relevant local businesses through their crawl of the web.

Good news = Don’t have to have a physical business address to rank.

Bad news = Google still aren’t so brilliant at finding relevant local results.