Here’s a way to get your fair share of traffic from Google and then some.

You may have noticed that Google serves up 3 local listings in its Web search results (results you get from searching via the home page among others) if G thinks you are searching for a yellow pages-like search. For example, a search for “Denver plumbing” yields this result:

Denver Plumbing

But if you do a search that directly matches a business name then Google will sometimes show just the business as a single local result like it did in this search for “Santa Monica Plumbing”:

Santa Monica Plumbing

What this means is that in the right categories with the right business name in the right city you could be at the top of page one of Google for some high volume searches. It may be worth some time researching results in your city and creating some new business names. Once you create the names make sure you register them with Google Local Business Center, Localeze, InfoUSA, Acxiom, Yahoo Local and others. It helps if you actually are a real business related to the category BTW.

Warning: This does not work every time in every city. For example, Santa Monica Plumbing & Heating is at the top for “Santa Monica Plumbing”, but not for “Santa Monica Heating”. Smaller cities don’t seem to show these local results in Web search results a lot of the time.

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7 Response Comments

  • Mary Bowling  October 11, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Andrew,
    I too am finding that your business name can really influence your rankings in Local business listings.

    If you’re starting a new business, it will definitely help to combine what you do with you are when deciding on a name. You may need to add something on the beginning or end for it to make sense or be unique – Example: Best Denver Plumber – but using your best keyword phrase in your name can really pay off.

    It takes the guess work out of things for the Search Engines, too. If you call your self Denver Plumber, they can be fairly confident that’s what you are. If you go with something less obvious, like Pipe Master, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

    In the real world, many businesses are not going to change or modify their names. I’m not certain registering additional business names will help, since they will all have the same address and phone number as the original business, but if anyone has gotten this to work, please let me know.

    The technique I’m trying is to add a short, keyword-rich tagline after the business name – example: Pipemaster-Denver Plumber – and try to propagate that across the web as much as possible.

    Any thoughts?

  • Mike Belasco  October 12, 2007 at 9:03 am

    I have had mixed results using the “tagline” technique you described. Still worth a shot

  • Jarek  October 31, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Great post. This kind of SEO is very important for local businesses. Small businesses does not know that it could be quite easy to become like authority in search engines at their niche. I started SEO activities for my local bussines to get listed in Yahoo, Google, after I red Local Search Guide (free 100 pages guide about Search Engine Marketing in Google, Yahoo, MSN,,,,

  • inkode  November 7, 2007 at 6:16 pm


    I’m a newly converted fan of your blog – love your original approach to a SEO topic that gets little attention.

    Just wish Google would do this for New Zealand. We can’t even use the google maps local business center.

  • Andrew Shotland  November 7, 2007 at 9:37 pm


    G’day or whatever it is they say over there. Sounds like there is an opportunity to take over the local search market in kiwi land. Let me know when you are ready to roll!

  • dhurowitz  December 20, 2007 at 9:54 am

    I am new to your blog, but after looking at my watch I have just spent over an hour pouring through the many excellent topics! Local search is my focus as we build mobile applications and are always paying particular attention to this area. We believe this combined with personal history is going to provide the next step in both search and social. Looking forward to reading more as your site is now in my bookmarks!