Google is the search engine. It always has, it’s always been, and it always will be. Search engine optimization efforts rely proactively on Google to increase ranking. While lesser known search engines are worth the effort to optimize too, the practice just becomes an accessory to the major effort. When SEO experts do SEO, it means they’re ranking for Google.
But while search engine optimization is the name of the game globally, local searches constitute at most 40% of all search engine searches. That means a good SEO service should constitute local search engine optimization services too.
Additionally, 80% of mobile searches are for local listings. While the last decade was focused on desktop computing, this decade have seen a shift in mobile. iPads, tablets and Smartphones lead the way to a more convenient connectivity, and these devices are the future of advertising and promotional efforts.
A look locally
In the Philippines, search engine optimization is part of Information Technology – Business Process Management or IT-BPM. The IT-BPM was cited in 2006 as one of the most promising income and employment-generating sectors in the country, under the subsector called cyberservices. In the years that followed, the contact center industry witnessed a boom, with hordes of local graduates lining up to get a job in the industry even with obvious skills mismatch.
Local search engine optimization is usually part of a wider, all-encompassing global search engine optimization effort. The relationship between the two may go hand-in-hand, or they could stand alongside each other.
Local SEO boost global rankings, but the opposite is debated whether to be applicable or not. Although Google emphasizes the importance of local listing (hello, Google Places!), the effect of having one does not necessarily increase relativity or credibility. It just puts the business on Google Maps, and that’s it.
Users have to input the name of the store to get the virtual “card” of the business, plus a direction on Google Maps. It does little to increase ranking on global relevant keyword searches.
Local SEO, in its most organic form, is the type that is city-based or location-based. Local searches usually constitute keyword plus specific location. One might glean that having a website indexed locally by data aggregators solves the issue, but that is not the case. It’s a more complicated process that it presents itself to be.
While having the physical address of the business in local listing active, the inbound and outbound links, plus health of those links are still huge determinants of first page rankings. And while national and global SEO practices are basically the same practices utilized for local SEO, local profiling and citation are needed for the latter as basic foundations.
The algorithm behind Google Search is becoming more and more discerning in the past few years. In local SEO, a “centroid bias” is usually used to increase the relativity of a person’s search towards his detected location. This means that when someone searches for, say, business process outsourcing Philippines, and he is in the outskirts of Manila, Google will prioritize Manila business listing, plus those websites which have a robust national SEO back-up within them.