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December 2 2012

Tag Along Local SEO Rule

Written by / Posted in seo / 0 Comment

It used to be that a highly ranked organic local site, could have its google local listing in the 7 pack and have an organic listing above it.

We noticed that this seems to have changed.

Today, we went and googled 50 different random local terms around the country and all of the searches supported my new theory.

If you can find a violation of this rule (Roseanna calls this the tag-along rule) please leave it in the comments below.

Here is how the rule works:

#1: Google follows its algorithm to determine which of the websites should be in the 7pack for the local term.

#2: Google then ranks the organic page according to its organic algorithm.

#3:If the google local listing is ranked higher than the organic listing on the first page for that term then google will list both of these listings on the 1st page.   This appears to take place for some domain in approximately 10% of local searches.

#4: If the domain we are looking at is in the 7 pack already and if the organic listing is in the same position or above the last listing of the 7 pack, then google will only list the 7 pack style local listing.  It will not list the organic listing separately.  The local listing seems to tag along with the organic listing as it moves up, like a drunkin’ friend when you are trying to hit on some classy hot girl.

#5: If an organic site is exceptionally strong, the organic backlinks are so strong that google naturally places the organic listing higher than the 7 pack.  While following the previous rule, google also breaks that listing out of the 7 pack and places the local listing at the height the organic listing would have been at number 1 or 2. This is like when the hot classy girl invites you over for thanksgiving dinner and your drunkin’ friend tags along in flip flops, a t-shirt and shorts to your new girlfriend’s house with the three car garage and he awkwardly sits down for thanksgiving dinner with her family when he wasn’t even invited.

We were able to find only 2 exceptions to this rule. In each case, the local listings formed a 3 pack instead of a 7 pack.

Let me know when you start to see exceptions to this rule and leave examples in the comments.

Or if you can figure out why Google violates this rule, only where there is a 3 pack, that would be interesting to know as well.



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