29 May Generic, Near Me, Local vs. Hyper-Local SEO, How Google GEO Search Works
This blog article explores the difference between 4 types of local searches for a service offering using Google Search. The article also helps our SEO Turbo Booster customers understand how and why they need SEO Turbo Booster to generate landing pages. We create specific pages per each “locality” for search engines. This is important for Google search because page authority is correlated with a set of keywords per page. Each page has a dedicated authority to Google. The types of geo search differentiate based on how you input your search into Google Search.
Here are the types of search
1. A Generic Search
A generic word search is a search without any geo markers in the search at all. An example when looking for a Patent Attorney in Boca Raton, where I live, would be searching for “Patent Attorney”. Below is a search completed on my desktop, using a MacBook Air with Chrome Browser, while located in Boca Raton, FL. This was on May 29, 2021.
First off, Google has made even the generic search quite local by showing 3 “local” attorney’s using the information in GMB (Google My Business) at the top. So, GMB is an absolute necessity! Also, the first couple results above the fold are paid ads.
When we finally get down to the organic search, this type of search shows a “wiki” page as the first organic results about what is a patent attorney, as well as other very descriptive items related to “patent attorneys” from a definition standpoint. I like to call this a generic search because we never indicated we are looking for a “Boca Raton” based patent attorney.
But now that Google Search results show this group of 3 attorneys at the top of the page, this page is more “local” than ever before, and on desktop no less. How do they know where I am at? It’s because of my IP address, MAC address, and Chrome settings.
The next section that shows up after the Pay Per Click ads is the Google map. What you will notice is this map once again shows
local results, meaning even though I just searched on “patent attorney” it will show not national, but local patent attorneys. The point here, once again is every desktop search is now dominated by “local” search results. And this is not on mobile searches (on a smartphone), but just on a desktop search of a patent attorney.
This also tells me that the difference between generic search and “local” search is not as differentiated as it used to be. That means “local” or “geo markers” are even more important than ever before.
Google Map Search Results from Generic Search
The next section includes the “Questions and Answers” section of Google searches. This section is not “local” or “geo marker” based for now. So that just tells me the search of a generic term is not 100% localized…yet. It says “What does a patent attorney do?”.
To get your website to be one of these pages to answer this question is not so simple, because from my experience this question is being answered from pure content, not title, nor rich snippet content. It means you should put generic questions into your content. But once again, why would your site be chosen to answer a question? It’s because you have the best answer, plain and simple and if enough people click on your page to get that answer, you will be worthy of getting that position.
This section right below the questions and answers gets to the point I have been trying to make, that the generic SEO search for organic listings is not yet localized. You will see a Wikipedia listing and a generic question about meeting with patent attorneys. Approximately 3/8 organic search results were local or 37.5% of the organic search results. Finally, at the bottom of the page, there are a bunch of images, and from what I can tell they are not localized images, meaning these 4 images are specifically from “national” websites or sites that are not focused on local with a city keyword.
Above these images are additional keyword tags, with small icons of images to give you a hint that they represent additional images. This is all to enhance your search for images under slightly different variations of search. For images, it may be more important to have images that are slightly different than organic search.
Interestingly enough, the image block appears right above one last organic search result, followed by additional pay per click (paid) results
2. Near Me Search
A “Patent Attorney Near Me” Search starts with a similar “local” bunch of attorneys at the top of the page.
One difference between a “near me” search and a Generic search is you will notice there are no paid ads between the group of attorneys at the top and the map right below it.
Not sure why this is true, but maybe buyers of PPC need to be more specific about “near me” in the search results.
The google map results are pretty much the same. I can’t really find any differences between them between a generic search and a “near me” search.
The place where there is a difference is there are 5/9 or 55% of this “patent attorney near me” search is “localized”. The big difference is of the additional 2 results that were more local were directory lookup services. So, obviously getting in a directory can be important for showing up and getting leads.
3. A True Local Search
I use the word “True” because the search would actually incorporate a city name or locality. This search for this example is “Patent Attorney Boca Raton”.
Before this search, for the previous 2 searches, I never actually used any city or town name, I just put in keywords or added near me. The end result of this search is 10/10 results being local or 100% local.
Notice for the search “Patent Attorney Boca Raton” and its variations that all the results were local, without any national or wiki page results. This includes both directories that are local and local attorney pages and “best of class” type of sites that claim to help find a local attorney.
4. A Hyper-Local Search
Let’s go further and look at what I call a “hyper-local” search. I am referring to a community or smaller area within the city or town.
In my case, I live in a community within Boca Raton called “Boca Del Mar”. This is a neighborhood and not a housing development.
This search produced mixed results. As far as local overall, it came up 7/8 were local search results or 87.5% of the search was local to a local place like Boca Raton or Boca Del Mar.
The ratio of the city to local community results was 2/8. or 25% were even more local, with 6 being more about Boca Raton than Boca Del Mar. What this tells me is there is room to create hyper-local content that is specific to communities to show up at least with the local terms in the search and potentially without the local terms.
I did another search that was even more hyper-local, right down to my community name. That search produced 0 results for patent attorneys. At some point, the localization switches from the search keywords having authority to the community having authority, and the keywords get ignored.
Summary of Generic, Near Me, Local, and Hyper-Local Organic Search on May 29, 2021
The end result of analyzing search results and creating this article is that local is even more important than ever to Google searches, on desktop or mobile searches. When using the words “near me” it is clearly better to index your pages for this type of search than a generic search. But the best-indexed pages are specific to the search terms and city.
Going even hyper-local has its benefits as well since that seems to be a place to compete, but getting even more granular local down to the housing community maybe not as important at a certain point.
Dedication of a web page to that specific long-tail search result is the way to show up on the Google Search Results for keyword/city and creating a separate landing page for Google to the index is the best way to compete. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit our website at https://www.seoturbobooster.com and contact us there if you are interested in partnering with us or trying our tool.