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Local Search Rankings Factors

    Although Google does not publish its algorithms and they cannot be reversed engineered, we know the fundamentals through the collective experience of local SEO practitioners. For several years now, SEO-tools-provider Moz has facilitated an annual survey of SEOs of their experience of the most important local rankings factors. At this writing, the current survey is The 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors.

    Here are the top Overall Ranking Factors, expressed as eight thematic clusters of the many specific factors involved (perhaps more than 200):

      20.3 percent—On-page Signals
    20.0 percent—Link Signals
    13.6 percent—External Location Signals
    14.7 percent—My Business Signals
     9.5 percent—Behavioral/Mobile Signals
     8.5 percent—Personalization
     8.4 percent—Review Signals
     5.0 percent—Social Signals

    This data is represented in the pie chart at the top of the page.

    The term on-page refers to a website—all the things you or your webmaster have control over. While the website is most important in this data breakout, it accounts for only a fifth of all ranking factors. The other 80 percent of factors concern things you don't have much control over, because they are off-page . Links to your site, for example, are the major off-page factor.

    The word signals is used in the sense that all these different factors are never determinant of rankings in themselves, but as part of a larger whole of factors in dynamic relationship to each other. This is what the algorithms sort through.

    In determining rankings for a given local search query, Google looks for signals of relevancy, authority, user experience and location concerning every page in its index. Some signals are weak, whereas others are strong.

    Since we're talking about Local SEO, the location component is critical in all signals, both on-page and off-page: on most parts of the website, in the anchor text of inbound links, in all the Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), web directories and review sites that contain your NAP (name, address, phone) information. (Having correct and consistent NAP information in these directories is what's meant by External Location signals.)

    We bring the Moz survey to your attention as an objective, highly credible source on the key issues and most important ranking factors in Local SEO.

    Review HELPER's services in Local SEO directly correlate to the most important ranking factors identified in in the Moz survey.

    In fact, we have special capabilities that address two of the five major categories: link signals and review signals.