co Survey Results and Centroids |

For the last seven years, David Mihm has been conducting some of the most important studies of Local SEO. The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey results have been announced on Moz, and of course they are interesting! The comments should be pretty good, too — I love a good discussion by people who are involved with the subject. Here’s a quick look at the Overall Ranking Factors numbers from lowest to highest:

  • Social Signals (5.8%)
    (Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.)
  • Behavioral/Mob. Signals (6.9%)
    (Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers, etc.)
  • Personalization (8.4%)
  • Review Signals (9.8%)
    (Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity, etc.)
  • My Business Signals (14.7%)
    (Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity, etc.)
  • External Loc. Signals (15.5%)
    (IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume, etc.)
  • Link Signals (18.3%)
    (Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.)
  • On-page Signals (21.0%)
    (Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.)

David Mihms does a good job of explaining what he changed in this year’s survey to make it easier for the many respondents and simpler to understand for the rest of us. He also highlights some of the things he considers interesting, including this observation: “Proximity to searcher saw one of the biggest moves in this year’s survey. Google is getting better at detecting location at a more granular level — even on the desktop. The user is the new Centroid.” (italics are mine)

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how complicated we make local marketing, it all comes down to the customer, or end user? The Centroid in this case could be visualized as the pushpin on the Google map, marking the center of the geographic area. It’s the target Google uses until you specify further.

Here’s where we have a great advantage over Google, because we aren’t trying to make the whole world use our product. We can specialize and focus on our particular customers. “The user is the new Centroid” looks like the kind of thing you’d see on a t-shirt with a big pushpin on the front, doesn’t it? But the idea of orienting a business to the customer is as old as business itself.