Is Google Quietly Tweaking Local Search -

10 Mar 2010

Is Google Quietly Tweaking Local Search

Writing by Nick Stamoulis

There is an interesting article on Web Pro News that discusses a significant change to local search when it comes to SEO and web design. Put simply, SEO and web design businesses are no longer appearing in local searches, at least, not for simple searches. I wrote about this last week as well, please read the post at the following link:
A search for “SEO Boston” is not likely to return any local search results. Add the word “in” – “SEO in Boston”, and the local search results appear. While it is tough on web designers and SEO businesses, is there more to this than meets the eye?

SEO consultants (and web designers) are easy targets when it comes to tweaking anything to do with search. Who is going to notice and discuss a change in search, why SEO writers off course. You have to wonder then if Google have made this change as a test for a more general change in local search. If this one little change improves search results and also trains searchers to be more specific in their queries, will we soon see this change spread to other areas of local search?
I think we may. Google is all about improving search results and producing results that more specific to a query. If the search engines can train users to be more specific with their search queries, results should become more specific. It is a fair enough approach. The search “SEO Boston” is not specific. Is the searcher looking for an SEO consultant in Boston, or one that will provide a service to someone in Boston? The same can then be said for spare tires, books, and a million and one other products.
It’s just a thought, but is Google tweaking local search and using SEO as the guinea pigs? Or is Google just attacking SEO people because of the black hats out there that are abusing Google local maps search results for themselves and their clients? I am not sure…why can’t Google just change 1 thing at a time, with Google Caffeine happening soon, why do they have to change local search right now.

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