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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Optimizing for Local Search

In 2010, Bing released data showing that 53% of Bing’s mobile search volume was local in nature (http://searchengineland.com/microsoft-53-percent-of-mobile-searches-have-local-intent-55556). In 2011, Google published data indicating that 20% of its desktop search volume had local intent (https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/googleplaces/metrics). Being that this is a large and growing segment, search engines have sought to increase their advertiser bases by moving aggressively into providing local directory information. Applications such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Maps have introduced disruptive technology to local directory information by mashing up maps with directory listings, reviews/ratings, satellite images, and 3-D modeling—all tied together with keyword search relevancy. This area of search is still in flux, as evolutionary changes continue to come hard and fast. However, these innovations have excited users, and the mapping interfaces are growing in popularity as a result.

Despite rapid innovation in search engine technology, the local information market is still extremely fractured. There is no single dominant provider of local business information on the Internet. According to industry metrics, online users typically go to multiple sources to locate, research, and select local businesses. Traditional search engines, local search engines, online yellow pages, newspaper websites, online classifieds, industry-specific “vertical” ...

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