A Google Local Places search result.

For many years we have all heard that your business name, address, and telephone number must be exactly the same everywhere on the web.

Or else.

Of course, we do not want to confuse any search engine, and this is a great practice for a plethora of reasons, I always wondered if the claims that this information REALLY helped Google Local Places pack results or not. After all, Google is the search engine diving all the vast majority of traffic to company websites.

An experiment

A business I am working with out in California was opening a spin off- a new business in a new city with a new URL. Great! Their goal was of course to rank in Google search as quickly as possible and also show up in Google Local Places results.

This is a medium competition niche and it was not much trouble at all, so an experiment was in order.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last several months you know that for most niches, Google’s local places results are now affected directly by organic results.

It took a couple of months and the page started ranking organically. The exact same day the business broke into the top 3 organic results in the city the business also appeared in Google Local Places results. For a few days it would bounce back to position 4, and out of local search it went. Finally, it gained traction and stayed in the top 3 (#1 actually). Again, the same day it ranked organically it popped into Google’s local results.

Do Local Citations help Google Local results rank better?

I can say with confidence that they are either a tiny factor or not a factor at all. This experiment was just the icing on the cake- I have seen it dozens of times.

AFTER the page showed up in local search results I went ahead and added it to Yelp and Facebook and Foursquare.

Note: There are more factors than organic rankings but that is definitely the biggest factor.


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