Thursday, July 10, 2008

Google: Everything is Local Search

In a major advancement to embrace local business information, Googles search engine is starting to consider all searches as local oriented. Historically, the search results would respond with local business data only when the query explicitly contained geographical terms such as a city name or zip code. This improvement now allows for any basic search term to trigger the top 10 pack of local business results.
google local results for users location
Queries such as Dentist (image) or Plumber (image) now display local business listings among the traditional web page results. The functionality is driven based upon what the user has provided as their default location in the Google Maps. The top 10 pack seem to always rank in 4th position, which incidentally is the same position for subscribed links.

Activating Local Search in Google

To activate this feature, users can lookup their location in Google Maps and then specify that as their default location. (Example specifying location as 92708). Subsequent searches done on Google will show the local top 10 if the query is relevant to business listings, such as Chiropactor search. The default location setting can easily be changed (or even removed for those who are privacy insecure) at a later point from within the search results by selecting “change location”.
google local location default set

Local = Search

This functionality isn’t new. In fact, similar location profiling and caching techniques have been done at search engines such as the one we developed at The fact that Google has incorporated this logic into its universal search algorithm is indicative of the overwhelming user desire to obtain local search results as well as the pervasive nature of local business listings, or in other words: “Everything is local and local is everything”.

David Rodecker
Founder & CTO,

“getting local business online"