Posted • January 25, 2010 • 3 Comments
Is Google Really Taking Aim at Local SEOs and Web Designers with Evil Intent?
Matt McGee posted “Google Doesn’t Want Searchers To Find SEOs & Web Designers” Dec 31, 2009.
Matt takes the stance that Google will almost never show you local results on a map for “seo,” “seo company,” “web design company” and several terms related to these businesses.
So I decided to try some Google searches myself and the results are very interesting… See the results at the bottom of this post.
Matt’s evidence is very compelling.
Why does Google have it out for web designers and SEOs? That question has been going around for nearly two months, particularly in this thread in the Google Maps Help Forum. And, as Barry Schwartz reported on Search Engine Roundtable, Google employee “Joel H” (likely Joel Headley) posted an update today saying that it’s not a bug (as originally said to be), but a specific, conscious decision on Google’s part not to show these types of businesses on a map.
“Today, we’re intentionally showing less local results for web design / SEO queries. For example, [web design sacramento] doesn’t display local listings today. We believe this is an accurate representation of user intent. In some cases, we do show local listings, however (as NSNA/php-er noted) [web design in bellingham]. I’m sure some of you feel we should be displaying local results for queries like [Web Design Vancouver]. I understand that concern, but based on our understanding of our users, we feel this is the right decision for now.
“I’ll give the usual disclaimer that we’re constantly working on improving the user experience and results will vary over time. So, this could change in the future, but I wanted to be explicit about what we’re doing today.”
What Joel H. is saying is that certain industries won’t get local business listings even with a city name included in the query, but they might get a 7-pack if the query includes a word like “in.” So, for example, queries like “seo seattle wa” (even with the state abbreviation!) and “web design seattle” don’t show local listings with a map:
Everything Matt said proved to be the same results I got from Google.
Both “search engine optimization portland” and “web design portland” gave us no local map. While “search engine optimization in portland” and “web design in portland” both gave us the Google local map.
I even ran searches on “shoes portland” and “grills portland”, neither omitted the Google local map.
So there’s the evidence. Google has us in their cross hairs.
The moral of the story: In our business, when it comes to Google, you’d better place your bets on organic rather than local listings.
Gary Pool SEO