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Google serving Local Listings via IP address.

The author

Malcolm Slade

Head of Technical SEO

Until recently (Yesterday) local listings (the map with company details beside it) have only really made an appearance for searches that specify a location e.g. “pubs in Leedsâ€. Pubs in Leeds Search As of yesterday morning, they seem to be popping up all over the place based on IP address, as can be seen in this example for the search “casinoâ€. Casino Search

So what does this mean? Well, even more of the natural listing space is now taken up by non traditional listing making places near the bottom of the first page even less attractive. Local businesses featured within Google Local Business should get a nice boost in traffic while businesses outside of the area are likely to see a drop off especially if they rank below the local search box. Do I like it? Well to be honest no. I’m a bit of a purest and would prefer to see some form of opt-in for local results where a location isn’t specified as Google is kind of taking for granted the fact I am not willing to travel etc. What should we do? Well getting you self into Google Local is a good start. Beyond this I wouldn’t worry too much at the moment as this may simply be a brief experiment that will never see mainstream daylight. My location is wrong! Well luckily Google have provided a helpful link to modify your location as let’s face it, the science of matching users to locations via their IP addresses is flawed. What searches does this affect? Well without spending too much time researching (sorry, I’m a busy guy), it seems that only service style searches are affected e.g. “Pubsâ€, “Cinemasâ€, “Web Design†etc. Product style searches seem to have remained the same e.g. “Mortgagesâ€, “Blue Widgetsâ€* Let’s see how this one turns out! Malcolm Slade / SEOMalc *Wouldn’t it be funny if “Blue Widgets†had some local results. Well I thought so.