David Mihm’s 2012 Local Search Ranking Factors are out, and what a good time to get an expert view of all things local search.
As Mihm says in his article, it’s been a bit of a shakeup year, particularly with the recent roll-out of Google+ Local. Many things have changed, but the philosophy of local search marketing has remained markedly consistent, particularly as compared to other digital marketing channels.
What has changed, however, primarily comes from what’s called the Google Venice update. In short, Venice changed the local search engine results page (SERP) from a map and 7-pack oriented layout (with integrated listings) to one focused on local standard organic results. This had the (rightly intended) consequence of placing a greater importance on the domain authority of a website. The search ranking factors study also includes some interesting social factors, including a page’s Google +1 and Facebook Like count.
Take aways? Re-assess your local search marketing priority list, making traditional SEO a bigger part of your local effort.