Battleground SEO

With Google’s recent introduction of 10 yellow pages-like listings in Web search results for local queries, it is going to be harder for local search sites which depend on “category in city” search queries (e.g. “Plumbing Supplies in Pleasanton, CA”) for a lot of referral traffic from Google to get that traffic. If I were the SEO person at a yellow pages co or other local search service I might consider spending some more energy focusing on trying to rank for searches for individual business names (e.g. “Valley Plumbing Home Center”).

Here’s why:

The Google Maps info inserted in business name search results seem to have fewer pixels to get to the non-Google content in the results. The Google Maps info in business name results are about 189 pixels high. The Google Maps info in business service in city results (the “10pack”) are about 247 pixels high. See the images below:

Business Name Result:Google Business Name Result

Service in City Result: Google Service in City Result

It has also been my experience that the “service in city” queries tend to result in more ads, particularly at the top of the search results, as these are more easy to target for advertisers. This means even more competition for clicks from these pages.

Now the flipside is that you will need to rank for a whole lot of business names to equal the traffic of one “service in city” query. I guess that’s what makes local search engine optimization fun right?

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3 Response Comments

  • Richard  February 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    hrmm you make this sound like a foriegn concept. Which if you’re into local search and are seo’ing a yellowpages type site…you know what drives the traffic and what makes your customers happy

  • Andrew Shotland  February 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Not sure what you are referring to Richard but most local search players I speak with target a number of different keyword types. For these sites queries for services and business names are the top types of searches that drive traffic and make the customers happy.

  • Christina Smith  December 28, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Good Morning,

    I would like to search a few business names avaliablity.
    Christina Entertainment
    Christina Little Butterfly

    If they are available I would like to secure the name as soon as possible.

    Thank you,