I was excited to see the results of Moz’s 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors survey published last week. The timing of this year’s survey was particularly useful given Google’s Pigeon update in July (2014), which resulted in major ranking changes for both local pack and localized organic results.
As ever, it’s nice to see the observations and comments of so many leading local experts distilled into an easily digestible form.
I’m not going to dig too deeply into the 2014 results here, as a ton of good analysis and commentary is already out there. For those who are interested, the following posts are must-reads in addition to the survey results themselves:
- David Mihm’s analysis and commentary on LSRF 2014 (moz.com)
- Top 10 Local SEO Ranking Factors Right Now (thedigitialelevator.com)
Here, I’m going to look at the changing composition of the Local Search Ranking Factors study since it was first conducted in 2008.
Can We Predict The Future By Looking At The Past?
Historians, politicians, scientists, economists, gamblers, and meteorologists all use events in the past to predict the likely outcome of future events.
So can we in the local search industry do the same? Yes, I think we can.
It’s not guaranteed that the past predicts the future, but it certainly shines a light on the likely direction and outcomes we’re heading toward. And when we complement this analysis with a practical understanding of Google’s objectives, I believe these predictions hold water.
So, Just What Is Google’s Objective?
Ignoring the obvious commercial and non-search related objectives, Google’s desire is to provide the most relevant and genuine content and search results that best meet the needs of an individual user at an exact location and point in time.
We’ll also see from this historical analysis the growing complexity of local search – but also that there is …read more