When I started out I didn’t think there would actually be all that much different between the way Local Search is done here in Australia to the way it is done in, say America.
I even wondered at times how on earth I was going to differentiate my site from all the amazing sites out there that cover Local Search. (A concern reflected in my haphazard posting schedule).
But as I started digging into it (and believe me this is a rabbit-hole with almost no end in sight) I realised how naive I’d been.
Google is always testing the way she displays not just search results in general, but local search results in particular. And she uses her presence across the world to run these tests simultaneously tweaking each test to see what works and what doesn’t.
Sometimes, she’ll roll out a particular algorithm in one country (usually America because it is one of her largest markets) to work out the kinks first, before releasing it on the wider world (Pigeon was a case in point, but sadly not all the kinks were worked out).
Sometimes she’ll try different ways of displaying results, like with this addition of logos/photos to the Google Local Pack display that was first mentioned earlier this month.
Apparently some commentators were seeing a result that looked like this:
Google testing new local listings layout with logos. First time I’ve seen it… pic.twitter.com/Y0lIKjIlcL
— Justin Aldridge (@justinaldridge) March 12, 2015
But within a couple of days it had gone from view. And in Australia I was never able to replicate it.
It is situations like this that make me realise just how important it is to keep a focus on what’s happening in our own backyard.
What works in America, the UK or even Canada may not work at all in Australia because Google’s not using those algorithms to rank results here or even displaying those results in the same way.
And since I’m very keen on helping local small businesses survive and thrive through online marketing, I’ve decided to be a lot more active and present on this blog.
You’ll be seeing a lot more blog posts from me based on what I’m seeing in the Local Search universe but if you’ve got any questions or concerns that I’m not answering here, feel free to make a comment or drop me a line anytime.