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  • Writer's pictureMark A Preston

Understanding the Google Local Algorithm for Local SEO

Updated: Mar 10

In the ever-evolving realm of SEO, understanding Google's intricate algorithms is akin to unravelling a tightly woven tapestry—one where each thread represents a different factor in how your business is discovered online. The conversation I had with the insightful Mike Blumenthal illuminated the nuanced distinctions between local SEO and its broader national counterpart, revealing a landscape rich with both familiar and unique elements.


local SEO algorithm

The Core of Google's Algorithm: A Shared Foundation


Google's algorithm is a marvel of modern engineering, an intricate dance of factors that determines visibility in a user's search query. At its core, both local and national SEO are grounded in:


  • Prominence: The magnetic pull of your digital presence.

  • Relevance: The alignment between what you offer and what the user seeks.


Local SEO: The Proximity Principle


  • A Step Closer to the User: Unique to local SEO is proximity—a measure of how near a business is to the searcher. It's not just about being seen; it's about being seen at the right place, at the right time.

  • Knowledge Graph Sophistication: Google's local algorithm doesn't just scrutinize web pages; it delves into the rich context of the knowledge graph, piecing together a multifaceted picture of businesses as entities with multiple layers.


From Mentions to Rankings: The Subtleties of Local SEO


  • The Ripple Effect of Mentions: In local SEO, the whispers of your brand in the digital ecosystem—mentions and reviews—carry weight, influencing both relevance and prominence.

  • An Aggregation of Impressions: Each review and mention is a strand woven into your digital tapestry, enhancing your visibility in the local search landscape.


The Logic Behind the Listings: A Shared Yet Unique Approach


  • Popularity Translated: While national SEO gauges the popularity of web pages, local SEO interprets the popularity of locations, transforming it into prominence within the local context.

  • The Added Layer of Proximity: Google enriches this formula with the proximity variable, adding a dimension of physical closeness to the virtual mix.


The Takeaway for Local Businesses: Crafting Your Digital Identity


Understanding the gears that drive Google's local SEO machine is paramount. It's about being digitally savvy, sure, but it's also about fostering a tangible closeness with your community.




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