Organic search results will not be the same. Todays Google update comes a bit unexpected for the search engine community. Do you remember when Google removed the Plus one button from Organic Search Results? Well, now Google has removed the “select location” option from the regular search results page.
In the past, Google Clients were able to either have Google automatically select the default location for organic search results based on the IP address but gave the user the ability to directly change the search geo-location just by typing the city and state they desired. This gave more control over the results to the end-user and facilitated analysis of results among different cities.
By being upfront and displaying the Geo-Location results right in the left sidebar, Google allowed most clients to quickly and directly realize that they might be getting localized results. But the new Google Search Layout “hides” this option making it harder for the average user to undertand than he/she can change the location-option for search results. Simply adding “keyword +city +state” is not enough, even if you do this you will still get localized results based on your IP address unless you change the search results location.
The Google Geo Location Obsession
Google is becoming more and more targeted now a days. They are emphasizing local results over general search terms and today this is clearer than ever. Even general keywords will tend to yield hyper local results. For instance, an academic search for “plastic surgery” yields a long list of local plastic surgeons and very little information useful for the researcher. Perhaps in a desperate attempt to increase revenue, Google is giving potential Ad Sense costumers an extra motivation to invest more in their ads campaign. The issue is when the researcher is not looking for results with commercial intent, such as the academic search example. The way to work around with the hyper local results was to simply put a general location such as “United States” in the “Select your Location” box than was next to the search results. But now, Google has complicated this a bit perhaps to avoid potential clients escaping hyper-local search results.
The customization of search results based on location is an important component of a consistent, high-quality search experience. Therefore, we haven’t provided a way to turn off location customization, although we’ve made it easy for you to set your own location or to customize using a general location as broad as the country that matches your local domain. -Google Support
How to Change your default search location in Google?
You can still manually set up your default Geo-Result in Google search results, it is now a three-step process.
- You need to go to Search Settings,
- Select “Location” from the left menu
- Type in your City and State or a general Geo-term such as “United States” and click save.
If you are logged in with your Gplus account, the information will be saved for future searches (making it a bit of a pain to switch from keyword to keyword for wanted or unwanted geo-location results), if you are not logged in, a cookie will be stored in your computer to indicate Google to show with the location you have selected.
My Predictions with this Google Update: November 08, 2012
Google will aggressively encourage Geo-Location results for the remaining of the year. Hyper local listings will become the rule since they are the ones that Google thinks are more relevant and Google Places will become a major component of any business trying to be outstanding in search results. Who will be deeply affected with this Google update? Non-Geo-targeted general business than simply focus on “global” keywords. The days of “lose weight fast” are gone, if a local business is smart enough to do the right kind of Google Places Optimization, the local results will have more “relevancy” over the general “global” website”.
I am writing an article about how to optimize Google Places Pages in a few days (what is working for me and my clients), add me to your Google Circles to stay informed about the latest Google changes and how you can adapt to them.