Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Amanda Lewensky on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 4, 2019).

Location based search

*My First Question*

Hi all, thanks for accepting me into the group. I have a "basic" question.

If I Google "Yoga classes near Dallas" (not the real term) my site appears #3 in the search results. If I Google "Yoga classes near me" I get a completely different set of results, even though I am close to Dallas. Some results are much further away and my site is not listed at all. How does this work, and can I influence the results any? Do I simply have to add "near me" in my content?

Thank you.

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Scott Clark: Proximity to the business is the #1 local ranking factor, and the search results are radically different as you move around.

    Google has long ago moved beyond being fooled by lots of "Near Me" language in keywords, titles, headings, etc. Google knows about Dallas, Frisco, DFW, and how the places are connected within the metro.

    While I`m sure you`d like to rank well in every community, it will take time. Make sure your Google My Business listing is fully developed and accurate. If you open new studios, add new GMBs for them also.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: In local search, "near you" is literally near you (or near your ISP`s location if you`re at home or work on a land network). In organic results, it`s a bit different. For a term like "Yoga Classes" - you don`t even need the "near me" part of the search - it`s going to be inferred in some ways. BUT, Google is also going to try to give you other answers in case you aren`t looking to "find a yoga class" - you`ll likely find a result or two which answers, "What is a yoga class?" and you might see directory sites which will tell you "all the yoga classes around" and so on.

    Also - "near me" and "in Dallas" mean two different things to Google. "near me" infers that you want it for you - and (most likely) you want it now. While "in Dallas" (if you aren`t actually RIGHT in Dallas at the moment) means "for someone else" or "for me - but in the future" or other things.

    SEO, It`s not just about keywords, anymore.
  • Ammon Johns: Bear in mind that you can also get quite different results (when not logged in) from a `Near Me` search where Google is getting your position from your ISP`s registed business address, so if using wifi or cable, and the results you might get while mobile on a smartphone with GPS.
  • Kieran Gibbons: Something i`ve noticed is that if your closed and a competitor is open, it will show them above you as well.
  • Amanda Lewensky: I get all this, thanks for the feedback. My search is via PC so my ISP is the location. The search results when I type " .... near Dallas" are really different than if I type ".... near me".
    Google knows where I am. It knows I am not far from Dallas but with the "... near me" search it shows results of sites much further away than those actually in Dallas. I am making sense? Starting to confuse myself now lol.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 4, 2019).

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