Posted April 3, 2009 4:31 pm by with 7 comments

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In what could open up a whole new set of search lingo like “head of local search” terms etc. Google is now giving local results in their SERP’s without needing the searcher to ID a local qualifier. Now when you have the emergency need for a lawyer you can save yourself a few seconds by not having to type your city or town name to find one. Well, that is really oversimplified but sounds cool.

As reported by Mike Blumenthal, Search Engine Watch and Cathy Rhulloda, Google is now using your IP address and other location qualifiers to give its local “10 pack” of results as local solutions to your one word request. If I now need a lawyer in Raleigh, NC I can just search “lawyer” and on the first page, usually around the fourth or fifth result, I will see the 10 pack.


These same results will show up at the top of the SERP if you use a local geographic qualifier so Google is not quite committing whole heartedly to saying local is the absolute best result for these types of searches. They are however ratcheting up the level of prominence of a company’s Google Maps profile since the sheer number of searches that it can appear in has gone up considerably in many cases.

Results initially are spotty. In other words, it doesn’t work for all terms. This is a pretty strong development, though, as it relates to local search. All the more reason to make sure you small business types claim and optimize your listings.

  • I feel as though this won’t go over well. While maybe saving people a few seconds on local searches, I can’t help but think it will aggravate them to no end if they’re trying to search for something NOT related to their location. For instance, looking up fun things to do while on vacation. I am sure they will think of a way to opt out of this but time will tell, I suppose.

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  • I have being doing a load of keyphrase research and competitive analysis this morning in the UK and also noticed this – however the map (and local results) tended to appear once the total number of UK sites exceeded 1 million. I don’t think there is a specific number of returned sites that triggers the local results; but it just means that as search term used becomes more generic the local results are displayed.
    This is great for attracting local customers and fortunately we have spent ages optimising for local phrases and our local listing entry!
    Ann Stanley
    Anicca Digital Solutions – in Leicester UK!

  • While I can see the benefits of this, it does kinda sorta creep some customers out that supposedly anonymous searches are, well, not anonymous at all. :-/

    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s last blog post..Are YOU this insecure about Mooses?

  • Col

    This will please and anger business owners wont it? Great for local business, but wont larger businesses that cover bigger areas now be losing out to smaller more local firms?

    Its amazing the way decisions made by Google can shift the balance of power…here we go again!

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  • It’s good if you’re searching locally. But what if you don’t want a local lawyer?

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  • I could see some troubles with it. My IP always shows up as being in Orange County, California. I live in downtown Los Angeles. It’s okay if it is just something like Feedjit. But if I want to locate a lawyer, fast, I’m not going to be wanting one in Orange County.

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