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Local SEO Factors: Survey Attempts To Rank 90 Of Them

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Local SEO Factors: Survey Attempts To Rank 90 Of Them
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Portland-based David Mihm Web Design put out the results of a big local search survey, attempting to rank the top 90 local search factors that influence a business’ local Google rankings. It’s an interesting list, but it’s hard to say just how accurate it is, as Google plays its rankings signals cards pretty close to its chest. That said, it has some pretty credible contributors. You can see the whole list (as well as all the results) here.

There’s also the fact that the survey may lose its relevance sooner rather than later, as David Mihm acknowledges in the survey’s introduction.

“Of course, all of this preceded the colossal sea change represented by the release of Google +Local on May 30,” he writes. “This release actually came just as the responses for this year’s survey started pouring in. Which means that although this year’s version is more likely to be outdated sooner than previous years, it will represent an incredibly valuable historical data point, and I’m already looking forward to looking at the differences in 2013′s survey.”

Here’s the big list:

1. Physical Address in City of Search (PLACE PAGE)
2. Proper Category Associations (PLACE PAGE)
3. Proximity of Address to Centroid (PLACE PAGE)
4. Domain Authority of Website (WEBSITE)
5. Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators) (OFF-SITE)
6. City, State in Places Landing Page Title (WEBSITE)
7. Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text) (REVIEWS)
8. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations (OFF-SITE)
9. Local Area Code on Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
10. HTML NAP Matching Place Page NAP (WEBSITE)
11. Consistency of Structured Citations (OFF-SITE)
12. Individually Owner-verified Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
13. Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) (OFF-SITE)
14. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
15. Product / Service Keyword in Business Title (PLACE PAGE)
16. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains (OFF-SITE)
17. Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) (OFF-SITE)
18. Product/Service Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
19. Page Authority of Landing Page Specified in Places (WEBSITE)
20. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
21. Product / Service Keyword in Website URL (WEBSITE)
22. Location Keyword in Business Title (PLACE PAGE)
23. Quantity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains (OFF-SITE)
24. Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (REVIEWS)
25. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
26. Location Keywords in Reviews (REVIEWS)
27. Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
28. Geographic Keyword in Website URL (WEBSITE)
29. NAP in hCard / Schema.org (WEBSITE)
30. GeoTagged Media Associated with Business (e.g. Panoramio, Flickr, YouTube) (OFF-SITE)
31. Velocity of Native Google Places Reviews (REVIEWS)
32. City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags (WEBSITE)
33. Quantity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
34. Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
35. Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
36. Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
37. Association of Photos with Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
38. Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
39. Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
40. City, State in Places Landing Page H1/H2 Tags (WEBSITE)
41. Product / Service Keyword in Place Page Description (PLACE PAGE)
42. Location Keyword in Place Page Description (PLACE PAGE)
43. Age of Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
44. Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
45. Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
46. High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Places Reviewers, etc) (REVIEWS)
47. City, State in Most/All H1/H2 Tags (WEBSITE)
48. Diversity of Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
49. Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party) (REVIEWS)
50. Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (REVIEWS)
51. Product / Service Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes (PLACE PAGE)
52. Quantity of Native Google Places Ratings (no text) (REVIEWS)
53. High Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
54. Number of Actions Taken by Searchers on a Place Page (e.g. Driving Directions, Mobile Phone Calls) (PLACE PAGE)
55. Numerical Percentage of Place Page Completeness (PLACE PAGE)
56. Marginal Category Associations (PLACE PAGE)
57. Number of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
58. Bulk Owner-verified Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
59. Matching Google Account Domain to Places Landing Page Domain (PLACE PAGE)
60. Velocity of New Inbound Links to Domain (OFF-SITE)
61. Number of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
62. Velocity of Third-Party Reviews (REVIEWS)
63. Click-Through Rate from Search Results (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
64. Authority of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
65. Association of Videos with Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
66. Velocity of New Inbound Links to Places Landing Page URL (OFF-SITE)
67. KML File on Domain Name (WEBSITE)
68. Quantity of MyMaps References to Business (OFF-SITE)
69. High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) (REVIEWS)
70. Velocity of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
71. Loadtime of Places Landing Page (WEBSITE)
72. Popularity (# of Views) of MyMaps References to Business (OFF-SITE)
73. Authority of Adds/Shares on Google+ (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
74. Positive Sentiment in Reviews (REVIEWS)
75. Location Keywords in Place Page Custom Attributes (PLACE PAGE)
76. Matching, Public WHOIS Information (OFF-SITE)
77. Velocity of +1′s on Website (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
78. Volume of Check-Ins on Popular Services (e.g. Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter) (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
79. Number of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
80. Number of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
81. Authority of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
82. High Numerical Rating of hReview/Schema Testimonials (WEBSITE)
83. Volume of Testimonials in hReview / Schema.org (WEBSITE)
84. Velocity of Check-Ins on Popular Services (e.g. Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter) (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
85. Volume of HTML Testimonials (WEBSITE)
86. Velocity of Followers/Mentions on Twitter (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
87. Velocity of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
88. Inclusion of Offer on Place Page (PLACE PAGE)
89. Authority of Shares/Likes on Facebook (SOCIAL/MOBILE)
90. Participation in Adwords Express or Google Offers (OFF-SITE)

One thing that strikes me, looking at this list, is that “Velocity of Adds/Shares on Google+” is so far down on it. Considering that Google just made Google+ the backbone of local search, it will be interesting to see how this is looked at the next time the survey is taken. In fact, it’s interesting to see social factors in general appearing so far down on the list, given this recent study from Searchmetrics showing such factors’ apparent importance to search in general.

I suggest taking a look at the whole survey. It goes further than just the 90 things listed above, breaking it down by general signals, Place Page factors, off-site factors, on-site factors, review factors, social/mobile factors, and additional factors suggested, as well as numerous comments from experts.

Local search, in general, may soon be getting turned on its ear. In addition to Google’s new Google+-based local strategy, Apple is doing some interesting things of its own, while dumping Google from its Maps app, and getting much more integrated with Yelp and making search improvements to Siri.

Regardless of the ranking of the list above, it does stop and make you think about all the potential factors that could go into your local ranking, and many are certainly worth paying attention to.

Here’s another recent attempt at listing Google local ranking factors, from a study by Bizible (including former Bing staff).

Local SEO Factors: Survey Attempts To Rank 90 Of Them
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  • Grdffgyhh

    On #10, what does HTML NAP mean?

  • http://www.evergreeninternetmarketers.com/offline-clients/google-places-small-business-owners Local Marketing

    That is a great list for a consultant to use and refer too. You won’t miss a step reading this article.