Tag Archives: Local Search Ranking Factors

2014 Local Search Ranking Factors

The following is a partial re-post of the 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors from Moz Local.  This is one of the most important surveys for understanding what is working and not working in Local Search Marketing. The orignal article may viewed at Moz 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors.

Introduction by David Mihm from the Original Article On Moz

From year to year, the only thing you can count on in local search results is change.

Last year’s survey corresponded with the introduction of Local carousels to desktop SERPs and the release of New Google Maps . The summer of 2014 saw an even more dramatic shake-up with the release of Google My Business —the product of over two years of work by Google engineers—and more importantly the Pigeon algorithm update.

While there is plenty of evidence to suggest that shake-up is still occurring (one theory is that the update introduced a much stronger machine-learning element than we’ve ever seen before), conducting the survey at this time provides a very useful data point against which to measure change year-over-year.

Building on the evolution of last year’s format (based on the responses to last year’s survey), I asked respondents this year to rate specfic factors that contribute to rankings across both major result types (pack/carousel, and localized organic) as well as the more time-sensitive question of which factors have increased and decreased since the introduction of Pigeon.

In the interest of simplicity, I streamlined this year’s survey, removing the differences in desktop vs. mobile and pack/carousel vs. maps results (judged to be negligible last year), and consolidating the individual factors listed in the results to just the top 50 in each category.

The Survey

This year’s survey was divided into four parts.

I. General Ranking Factors

In this section, I asked participants to identify the influence of eight thematic clusters of ranking factors across the two primary types of Local results (localized organic, pack/carousel). In each case, they assigned a percentage of influence to all eight thematic clusters, totaling 100%. Businesses consistently ranked behind their competition in each of these types of results can use this section to prioritize their marketing efforts by theme.

II. Specific Ranking Factors

In part A of this section, I asked the experts to rank the top 20 individual ranking factors (out of a total list of 106) that have the biggest impact on pack/carousel rankings.

In part B of this section, I asked them to rank the top 20 factors from the same list, only this time to rank them based on impact on localized organic rankings.

In part C of this section, I asked them to rank the top 20 factors from the same list based on biggest impact in a competitive market, across both result types (pack/carousel and localized organic).

Results were then tabulated via inverse scoring, where the #1 ranked factor received the most “points” for that question, and the lowest-ranked factor received the fewest points. (The factors ranking outside the top 20 for all respondents ended up with zero points.)

III. Factors Most Affected by Pigeon

Here, I asked the experts to rank the five factors they felt had increased most in importance as a result of Pigeon, and the five factors they felt had decreased most as a result of Pigeon.

Results were then tabulated via inverse scoring, where the #1 ranked factor received the most “points” for that question, and the lowest-ranked factor received the fewest points. (The factors ranking outside the top 5 for all respondents ended up with zero points.)

IV. Negative Ranking Factors

In this section, I asked the experts to rank 30 negative factors in order of most damaging to most benign.

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Overall Ranking Factors

My Business Signals (14.7%)
(Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity, etc.)
External Loc. Signals (15.5%)
(IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume, etc.)
On-page Signals (21.0%)
(Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.)
Link Signals (18.3%)
(Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.)
Review Signals (9.8%)
(Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity, etc.)
Social Signals (5.8%)
(Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.)
Behavioral/Mob. Signals (6.9%)
(Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers, etc.)
Personalization (8.4%)

Localized Organic Results

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Pack/Carousel Results

(Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity, etc.)
External Loc. Signals
(IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume, etc.)
On-page Signals
(Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.)
Link Signals
(Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.)
Review Signals
(Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity, etc.)
Social Signals
(Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.)
Behavioral/Mob. Signals
(Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers, etc.)
Personalization

 ____________________________________________________________________________________

Top 50 Localized Organic Factors

1 City, State in Landing Page Title
2 Domain Authority of Website
3 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
4 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
5 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
6 Physical Address in City of Search
7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
8 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
9 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
10 City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
11 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
12 Consistency of Structured Citations
13 City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags
14 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
15 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
16 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
17 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
18 Diversity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
19 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
20 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
21 Proper Category Associations
22 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
23 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains
24 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
25 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
26 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
27 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
28 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
29 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
30 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains
31 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
32 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
33 Loadtime of Landing Page URL
34 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
35 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
36 Proximity of Address to Centroid
37 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
38 City, State in Most/All H1/H2 Tags
39 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
40 Velocity of New Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
41 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
42 Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
43 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
44 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
45 Velocity of New Inbound Links to Domain
46 Authority of Shares on Google+
47 Volume of Testimonials in hReview / Schema.org
48 Bulk Owner-verified My Business Page
49 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
50 Diversity of third-party sites on which reviews are present

Top 50 Pack/Carousel Factors

1 Physical Address in City of Search
2 Proper Category Associations
3 Consistency of Structured Citations
4 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
5 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
6 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
7 Domain Authority of Website
8 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
9 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
10 Proximity of Address to Centroid
11 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
12 City, State in Landing Page Title
13 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
14 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
15 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
16 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
17 Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry
18 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
19 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
20 Local Area Code on My Business Page
21 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
22 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
23 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
24 Age of My Business Page
25 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
26 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
27 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
28 Primary category matches a broader category of the search category (e.g. primary category=restaurant & search=pizza)
29 City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags
30 Product/Service Keywords in Reviews
31 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
32 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
33 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
34 High Numerical Ratings of Business by Google Users (e.g. 4-5)
35 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains
36 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
37 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
38 Association of Photos with My Business Page
39 Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
40 Matching Google Account Domain to Landing Page Domain
41 City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
42 Numerical Percentage of My Business Page Completeness
43 Clicks to Call Business
44 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
45 Product / Service Keyword in My Business Page Description
46 Velocity of Native Google Maps Reviews
47 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
48 Diversity of third-party sites on which reviews are present
49 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
50 Driving Directions to Business Clicks

Negative Ranking Factors

1 Listing detected at false business location
2 Incorrect business category
3 Mis-match NAP / Tracking Phone Numbers Across Data Ecosystem
4 Mis-match NAP / Tracking Phone Number on My Business Landing Page
5 Mis-match Address on My Business Landing Page
6 Presence of malware on site
7 Keyword stuffing in business name
8 Reports of Violations on your My Business page
9 Presence of Multiple My Business Pages with Same Phone Number
10 Absence of Crawlable NAP on Location Landing Page
11 Absence of Crawlable NAP on Website
12 Association of Google My Business account with other suppressed listings
13 Presence of Multiple My Business Pages with Same/Similar Business Title and Address
14 Incorrectly placing your map marker
15 Address includes suite number similar to UPS Mail Store addresses
16 Listing 800 Number as Only Phone Number on My Business Page
17 Keyword/city stuffed My Business page descriptions
18 Keyword-Stuffing in Title Tag of My Business Landing Page
19 Choosing to Hide My Business Page Address
20 Including Location Keyword in Categories *
21 Presence of Multiple Categories in Same Input Field *
22 Choosing Service Area on My Business Page (as opposed to in-location visits)
23 Non-Compliant Categories (those that do not fit “My Business Is a _____”) *
24 Presence of Multiple Crawlable NAP on My Business Landing Page
25 Low Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 1-2)
26 Low Numerical Ratings of Place by Third-Party Users (e.g. 1-2)
27 50+ MyMaps referring to your location
28 Negative Sentiment in Place Reviews
29 Mis-Matched or Private WHOIS Information
30 Multi-lingual listing for the same place

Top 30 Difference-Making Factors in Competitive Markets

1 Domain Authority of Website
2 Consistency of Structured Citations
3 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
4 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
5 Proper Category Associations
6 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
7 City, State in Landing Page Title
8 Physical Address in City of Search
9 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
10 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
11 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
12 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
13 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
14 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
15 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
16 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
17 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
18 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
19 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
20 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
21 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
22 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
23 Product/Service Keywords in Reviews
24 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
25 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
26 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
27 Local Area Code on My Business Page
28 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
29 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
30 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain

10 Factors That Have Increased in Importance Since Pigeon

1 Domain Authority of Website
2 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
3 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
4 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
5 Physical Address in City of Search
6 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
8 City, State in Landing Page Title
9 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
10 Page Authority of Landing Page URL

10 Factors That Have Decreased in Importance Since Pigeon

1 Proximity of Address to Centroid
2 Physical Address in City of Search
3 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
4 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
5 Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry
6 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
8 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
9 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
10 Proper Category Associations

For Expert Comments and Discussion, please visit the original post at  Moz 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors.

 

 

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