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Are you or your local search tools using UULE? Beware!

It was a pretty big deal to the world of local search when Google removed “Search Tools” from their search engine. It may seem like NBD, but everyone in local search knew that that was the best way to see what a local search looked like in a different location from your own. After that was eliminated, there was a mad dash to find out how to best spoof searches from other locations. While there were a few ways to do this, using the UULE search parameter to the city quickly became the preferred method. The tl;dr on UULE is that it is an URL parameter you can pass into a search to spoof location. Unfortunately, I have some bad news folks.

If you are using UULE then there is a good chance you are borking your local search. This is basically ALL rank tracking solutions. While the problem with rank tracking is known, to me this is an added wrinkle based on how Google is treating proximity.

Check out this explicit Geo-Location query: “tacos costa mesa”
Explicit Geo Location

And this implicit geo-location query: “tacos”
Implicit Geo Location

The implicit geo-location search query has a much tighter map, and also a more proximate grouping of businesses. This is because Google treats implicit and explicit geo-location queries differently when it comes to how they weigh proximity. Combine this with their ability to better suss out the specific location of searchers and, in my opinion, you have a problem. Read On…

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