2009 Local Search Ranking Factors

May 26th, 2009 by Will Scott

Local SEO consultant and Portland, OR web designer David Mihm has just published his second annual Local Search Ranking Factors Survey and for the second year running, Search Influence has been chosen to participate.

This is the definitive document on Local Search Ranking.

The study asked participants to rate 49 factors on their impact on Google and Yahoo Local’s universal search algorithms, calculating their positive or  negative impact on ranking as well as the level of agreement the participants had on each issue. The following are some of the highlights of the survey:

  • Positive Impact –  According to the 27 participants, local business listing address in the city of search currently has the most positive impact on ranking, followed by citations from major data providers, and properly categorizing local business listings.
  • Negative Impact – Top factors to avoid according to the study include using multiple local business listings with the same address, multiple local business listings (Google) with the same phone number, and including a PO box with no physical address.
  • Increased Positive Impact since 2008 –  Within the past year, participants say LBL with marginal categories has increased its positive impact the most, followed by LBL with videos, and KLM file submission.
  • Decreased Positive Impact since 2008 –  Top factors that have fallen in positive impact since last year include the number of inbound links, the age of the LBL, and using a PO box without a physical address.
  • Most Controversy –  Study participants had the least agreement on the importance of using the same address for multiple LBLs, using the same name on multiple LBLs, and naming products and services in the inbound keyword text.

The study surveyed 27 participants in the local search market field and was designed to help small businesses prioritize their web marketing needs.

Click for full results of the Local Search Ranking Factors study.