On Monday, my SearchEngineLand column will preview the results of a new Google Places Ranking Factors study conducted by Bizible. Aaron Bird, CEO & Night Janitor of Bizible, approached me a month or two ago about the study and I was intrigued by his approach. The study is a scientific complement to David Mihm’s well-known Local Search Ranking Factors survey of know-it-all SEO types. Taken together, the two studies provide a great roadmap for achieving success at local SEO.
A couple of teaser nuggets from the Bizible data to get you through the weekend:
- Having a physical address in the city of the search did not turn out to be a strong ranking factor, only distance from centroid seemed to matter. So, if you are just outside the city and your address is not officially in the city, this didn’t seem to hurt any more than a business whose address was in the city, but just as far from the centroid.
- That said, for every mile away from the centroid, ranking dropped by .4 (4/10ths) of a position.
- Getting your 5th Google review significantly helped ranking, although incremental reviews between 1 and 4 and above 5 had a very small impact on ranking (you have to get 100+ of reviews for it to help ranking any more than just 5, so good news for much-loved businesses and review spammers).
A lot more info on top factors and methodology will be posted on SEL and Bizible.com on Monday. Stay tuned.