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Local Search

Different from traditional SEO, local search is the practice of optimizing a website for local audiences. To find out more about local SEO, together with best practice recommendations for optimizing your local site, our SEO Office Hours recaps below compile insights and guidance from Google Search Central relating to local search best practices.

For more on international website optimization, check out our further resources:

The Ultimate Guide to International SEO

An SEO’s Guide to Hreflang Tags

The Challenges of Website Internationalization for Users & Search Engines

The Most Common Mistakes in International SEO

Getting Your International Website Structure Right

How to Create a Successful International SEO Strategy

Mixed-language pages can be confusing to Google

In general, Google tries to use the primary content of a page to determine which language a page is targeting. However, it’s also recommended to make title tags and headings match the page’s primary language. Having various elements on one page in different languages makes it hard for Google to know how the page should appear in the index.

13 May 2022

It is not possible to specify which countries and regions content should rank in

There is no way to prevent Google indexing content in specific countries and regions, even if it’s not targeted to that audience. The example given was a user who wanted English pages to rank only in the US and the UK. If Google deems the content as relevant to users in other locations, there’s every chance it will be indexed there too (and nothing that webmasters can do to prevent this).

6 Dec 2021

Use Structured Data Testing Tool, Search Console Help Forum & Documentation For Local Business Markup

For implementing local business markup, use the documentation to see which attributes are required, the Structured Data Testing Tool for testing that these work, and the Google Search Console forum for getting advice from peers.

11 Jun 2019

Sites Removed from Google My Business Won’t Also be Removed from Search

If a website’s Google My Business listing is removed by Google, this doesn’t mean that the website will also be removed from organic search as GMB listings and organic results work separately from one another.

5 Feb 2019

Location Identifiers That Require Interaction Won’t Affect Google

If a user’s location is identified in a way that requires interaction which would then change the content, this won’t impact Google because it does not interact, click or type like a user would.

5 Feb 2019

Including a Physical Address on a Site is Not a Ranking Signal

Google doesn’t use the inclusion of a physical address as the sign of a good website, however this can be important for users.

19 Oct 2018

Having HTTP Version in Google Listings or Snippets Can Drive Impressions Even After HTTPS Migration

If you’re seeing impressions and clicks for the HTTP version of your site after migrating to HTTPS, this could be because the HTTP version is linked to somewhere externally in a knowledge box or your Google My Business listing, for example.

2 Oct 2018

Combine Duplicate Pages Across Owned Sites Into One Page

If you have duplicate pages across different sites, try grouping them into one page and listing the different locations where that service or product is available so you have one strong page to rank with.

24 Jul 2018

Google Has no Guidelines for Marking Up Physical Objects Beyond Place ID

There isn’t a specific way to markup a physical object outside of Google Place ID. Google no longer uses the geo meta tag or geo sitemap extension. John recommends looking at documentation to find relevant markup, as this helps Google understand a page even if it isn’t explicitly used in search.

18 May 2018

Don’t Have ‘Near Me’ in Your Content for Location-based Queries

Adding ‘near me’ to your content makes no sense for location-based queries. The best way to optimise for local search is marking up your address on your site and setting up a Google My Business page to help Google understand where your company is based.

15 May 2018

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