Guest Posting by Rebecca Lieb
Everyone’s Local Somewhere
As far back as 2004, local search accounted for up to 25 percent of commercial activity on the Web, according to a Kelsey Group study. No wonder large and small players alike have been striving to build a better local search mousetrap. Of all the large and small search verticals out there, local is the fastest-growing and probably, most important.
It’s not hard to understand why. A dealership in Des Moines may have a Web presence, but it’s unlikely he’ll be selling cars in Cleveland. If your engine needs a tune up in Denver, a mechanic in Pittsburgh isn’t what you need now. The major search engines know this, in fact. Various geolocation technologies are baked into their algorithms. So when someone shopping for a Honda Element in Des Moines searches for a “Honda dealership,” one of the Big Three search engines is likely to figure out where she is (IP addresses are one indicator) and shove that local dentist’s site to the top of the results.
Pretty neat, right?
Well, it works for the dealer the search engines knows is in Des Moines, and therein lies much of the wisdom when it comes to optimizing for local search: defining locality.