Google Local Search If They Guess Where You Are

Google tries to serve up for you the most relevant results from the keyword enquiry.  In doing that, it probably looks at all the other searches for the same keywords and then sees what seemed to work best as an answer for all those keyword searchers.

The latest offering is most intriguing since according to Matt McGee, Google Is Showing Local Results On Non-Local Queries.

Google is rewriting the local search space. They’re now showing local search results — a map, business listings, and more — even when searchers use generic terms that don’t include a local word. This has potentially huge implications for searchers, local business owners, big businesses with a local presence, and search marketers, too.

Google is changing the game where local search is concerned. Google must be very confident in its ability to identify local intent, and its ability to minimize the ongoing map spam problem.  Why not try it yourself: Do a Google search for pizza, and you should see something tailored to your area.

As is noted, this has major implications for all local marketers. It is presumed that Google infers from your IP address where you are located.  It then will give you a list of the 10 most relevant local suppliers of the service.

The most amusing part to this is that when I did a search for pizza, I got the following result.

google local search pizza

Perhaps it was confused in some way that is not at all clear to me.  In the UK, they are suggesting the approach will not work because ISPs may be located far from where the searcher is located.  I can hardly imagine that this location search box approach is a rapid reaction to that criticism.

The local search box might suggest that this would only work in a US City.  However when I entered Langley BC then I got the listing of local pizza suppliers as Matt McGee suggested I should have got immediately on my first simple search for pizza.

If anyone can think of plausible reasons why this two step approach is being used here, then perhaps they could add something in the comments.  Indeed if anyone else has seen that search box, that would be of interest too. It is not mentioned in the official announcement that Google becomes more local.

8 thoughts on “Google Local Search If They Guess Where You Are”

  1. Thanks for those references, Mike. Dave Rodecker was just pointing out that a block of local results was embedded usually about position 4 or so in the Universal Search results. Dev Basu did see that small window offering a local search but it was a first for me when it came up for the pizza search. I was following up on the official Google announcement the previous day that Local Search would be a preferred offering when they deemed it appropriate. Clearly Google is still trying to get its act together on this.

    Repeating the search this morning, it no longer shows me the small local search window when searching for pizza. Local results come at position 4 and somewhat surprisingly are for Lasalle, QC, which I left 18 months ago. What on earth can Google be referencing when it attaches that out-of-date location. It certainly does not link to IP.

  2. For one whose target market is national, google’s emphasis on local search might have a negative effective effect. Certain products (such as electronic downloads) are not purchased at the local level. How does google know when local is important to the search and when it is not? Perhaps the local query box you mention is meant to collect data on the issue so that google can better understand when a user wants local search results.

  3. I think this is a positive change, it makes it easier for small businesses to get traffic from Google without spending thousands on SEO…

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