Understanding Google Local Algorithm | Relevance, Proximity & Prominence
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How does Google decide the content of the local package? It doesn’t have to be a black box – there’s a specific logic behind the command. In this article, we will present the three factors that determine Google’s local algorithm and local rankings factors in a simple and concise way that everyone can understand.
Today we will talk about the local algorithm and we would like to make it as simple as possible for people to understand because we think it is a very confusing thing for many SEOs who don’t practice this every day.
Google’s local search algorithm has always been based on relevance, prominence, and proximity.
Regarding relevance, what the algorithm asks is: “Does this business produce or sell or have the attributes that the searcher is looking for? It is quite simple. So, it displays us all those businesses here that could be relevant. For greater visibility, the algorithm asks: “What are the most popular and well-known businesses in their local market?”
By proximity, the question is really: “Is the business close enough to the searcher to be considered a good answer to this search query?” This is what makes people travel. This really defines the local algorithm – proximity. We will try to explain it in very simple terms here today.
Let’s say we have a searcher in a particular location, today he is very hungry and wants burgers. So, his search request will be “burgers”. If he would search for “burgers near me“, these businesses would be the ones that the algorithm would favor.
They are closest to you and Google would probably rank them based on their importance. If you had to ask for something in a particular place, say that you are in the center and asked for “burgers near my location” because you didn’t want to lose your job too long, so the algorithm will actually favor companies that sell burgers in the area of center even if it is farther from where the searcher is.
If he was now asking for “burger open now“, there could be a business here and a business here open now, and those would be the ones that the algorithm would take into consideration. So, relevance comes into play in the query. If you ask for the “cheapest burgers“, it could be here and here.
If you ask for the “best burger“, it could be very, very far or it could be a combination of all kinds of places. We really have to consider closeness as a fluid thing. It’s like a rubber band and depends on:
- The search query request,
- The position of the searcher
- The relevance of the request
- And the prominence of business
This is what Google displays in the local search results.
We hope this makes it much clearer for those of you who don’t understand the local algorithm. If you have comments or suggestions, write them down and thank you for reading.