The Top 8 Local Search Ranking Factors of 2013
 by Mary Bowling

The Top Local Search Ranking Factors of 2013by Mary Bowling

Once a year David Mihm, a local search expert and friend of mine, releases his Local Search Ranking Factors Survey to the public. If you're not familiar with it, David asks people who are recognized specialists in Local SEO to share what factors they feel most influence local rankings.

This year he had 35 participants. They're mostly from the US, but there are a handful of Canadians, a Brit and a Bulgarian living in Malaysia. I find it interesting that Ontario, Colorado, California, Arizona and Washington State are each very well represented. Who knew there were hot beds full of Local SEOs?

The results of the survey are broken down into 8 Main Local Search Ranking Factors which include:


The final 2013 Overall Ranking Factors for Local Search are a well-rounded percentage of all 8 of the above ranking factors. The survey results support the 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' message we've been telling you for years within our local search guide.


However, to his credit David didn't stop there. This year the survey was released well over a month later than usual because local search has gotten far more complex in the last 12 months. David took the extra time to figure out whether there were significant differences in the ranking factors for the different types of local results we're seeing. These include:

  • Pure Maps results that you see when you search directly in Google Maps or in apps that are based on Google Maps data.
  • Local pack results, which includes the new-ish local carousels, as well as the clusters of results accompanied by map pins in the Google universal results. <...