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Is local search at top of page a way to sell more Adwords?
silverbytes




msg:3935278
 3:25 pm on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is the scenario: a business about whatever has #1 organic position, he's located at whatever city.
Google introduced their own map with a bunch of business listed at very top of page now (local search) so whenever someone searches for "business at city" that #1 organic result is beated by the google map with some ten results from A - www.example1.com -
B- www.example2.com -

and so on.

Add also 1 more serach result at top of these 10 for: "the Local business results for [search query here]"

Also add 1 result for "more results from [search query here]" link at bottom of map but still above you.

You have 12 results before your #1.

Now, at top of map you can see up to 3 Adwords horizontal results above the map (3 others paid for) and at right column first 5 Adwords results are above your ex #1 organic result. 1 add is exactly aligned to your right.

Let's do the maths: 10 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 6 = 21

Your #1 site became #22 being the first real organic result.

How to revert this situation?

Under certain circumstances your business don't apply to be listed in local search (IE: your company sells services in several destinations), or your business is not reviewed for those important companies that added other business to map, or your business is not one of those top 10 because in that city there are thousands of bigger business)
One last: business addition is not even available in Google Local (only some countries may add business).

Well you are out of map no matter what.

What's the only remaining option? Pay an Adwords add higher than all other 9 Adwords Advisors. How much is that, well of course not cheap, specially if you want your #1 back, because you have to beat them all so you end paying USD xx for each click.

But what happens in the meantime? I saw this happening: #1 organic result now in #22 position having an Adwords add pointing to exactly same page that their organic result AND having the 9th position, that is the one exactly at your right column!

So when your bidding is beated your add goes down in position and you may end again in #22 or below.
Why? Because all other advertisers also want the place above the map certainly.

Ok, you refine your ads, work on them, focus on CTR, landing pages, bla bla, and most important: pay more.

I notice that this model enforces to buy Adwords, and personally notice that I need it like it or not, and have to pay more than before to stay worst.
What about the older organic results #2, 3, 10.

The local map and horizontal Adwords ads became a barrier that you only trepass buying ads.

Sadly I don't feel local search will dissappear from regular search. I'd like local serach would be only available in maps.google instead being the #1 ever.

 

DiscoStu




msg:3935434
 7:21 pm on Jun 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

The local map and horizontal Adwords ads became a barrier that you only trepass buying ads.

It's only a barrier for advertisers who want the #1 organic spot to be top of the page. For users, local search is helpful and that's why G implemented it.

Does it force you to buy ads? Again, it depends on your situation. If you're a small mom-and-pop store with a new website with hardly any links, it used to be that the only way you could compete with the hardcore SEO'd sites was by buying ads. With localized search becoming default on many searches, these stores now have a chance to show up, and instead it's the hardcore SEOs that need to buy ads to compensate for this.

In the end, what does Google want to show to the user? A site that has invested resources into link building and a perfectly optimized site, or a business located near the user that's selling what they're looking for?

silverbytes




msg:3935980
 2:38 pm on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm talking of course from advertiser's point of view and not as a Google search engine user looking for something. However I don't think any of registered Webmasterworld's users talk from serch engine user point of view, precisely because this forum is for Webmasters and not for search engine users.

What does Google want to show to the user?... A site that has invested resources into link building and a perfectly optimized site

In fact that's not the case. With new model Google shows in position #22 -as explained before- "a site that has invested resources into link building and a perfectly optimized site"

And shows #1 whatever who pays more (besides a business located near the user of course). That's what thread described and you probably assumed that I was talking about a crappy unkown new site. What I described is happening not to me personally but to big authority sites in several niches.

fishfinger




msg:3936017
 3:20 pm on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you trade locally then you can get into the maps results and should. At the moment it's usually easier than the web listings anyway.

If you trade nationally and were previously found for 'widgets city' for loads of locations where you didn't actually have an office, then you shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Trying to be found for local searches when you're not local is not that different than trying to be found for products you don't sell or services you don't offer.

silverbytes




msg:3936051
 3:42 pm on Jun 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you trade nationally and were previously found for 'widgets city' for loads of locations where you didn't actually have an office, then you shouldn't have been there in the first place.
Trying to be found for local searches when you're not local is not that different than trying to be found for products you don't sell or services you don't offer

False. Thousands of travel agencies for example have their offices in one only place but the important thing for them (and for users who wants to buy their services too) are the destinations they work on, not where is their office located. So if they rent "widgets in city" it's not determinant where their office is physically located.

fishfinger




msg:3936547
 7:54 am on Jun 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Perhaps if we're talking about 'travel to location'. But if I search for 'travel agent London' I don't want one in Birmingham. I doubt you do either.

And your argument doesn't work on the vast majority of businesses. Food, professional services, trades etc, etc.

Before the web, when you used the Yellow Pages, did you want the directory for your city? Or another one?

silverbytes




msg:3937169
 1:53 am on Jun 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I didn't even use yellow pages at all. And yes I'm talking abut "travel to location" that's one of most useful sides of web: the ability to be independent from physical location.

Many programmers work from India and Pakistan for clients on UK and USA overseas. They don't care much where they are, they care good job and prices.

I agree about restaurants and shops, but about travel services and other niches, not really.

Besides the fact that organic results were depreciated in this new model is the point. They are at "bottom" under Adwords Ads, and now Local search too.

fishfinger




msg:3937260
 8:12 am on Jun 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

the ability to be independent from physical location.

... but the point is that these are LOCAL results - Google title them "Local Business Results".

I am often surprised at the sites I find there - unoptimised sites with very few links. Sometimes I even think they have a few 'wild card' listings. As a webmaster, yes it's puzzling and even frustrating sometimes, but as a user (and a small business) I like the fact that the local results are not dominated by the big boys in the way that the traditional SERPs have often become.

DiscoStu




msg:3937489
 9:16 pm on Jun 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm talking of course from advertiser's point of view and not as a Google search engine user looking for something. However I don't think any of registered Webmasterworld's users talk from serch engine user point of view, precisely because this forum is for Webmasters and not for search engine users.

The two are not disconnected. Google is trying to guess what the user wants, and we're trying to guess what Google wants. Thus it's by many considered a good long-term practice to at least take the user in to consideration since that's where G is going. In a situation like local search, thinking about the user experience can give you heads up about where the SERPS are going - such as the increasing prevalence of universal search results.

I see what you're saying though, when you use the word "barrier" you're talking from the perspective of an SEO. But what I'm saying is that it depends on what SEO we're talking about - some predicted this by looking at where search was going and were able to capitalize on it and beat out, as you say, "big authority sites in several niches". For them it was not a barrier, but an opportunity.

And this was in response to the question posed in the title of your thread "Is local search at top of page a way to sell more Adwords"; businesses who could before only show up on the front page by buying ads (due to authority domains claiming the first page) can now show up through the 10-pack. Thus it decreases the need for using adwords for some, and therefore my answer is "no" - it's unlikely to be a trick solely to sell more adwords.

In fact that's not the case. With new model Google shows in position #22 -as explained before- "a site that has invested resources into link building and a perfectly optimized site"

I think that's exactly what I'm saying. It was a rhetorical question because I thought the answer would be obvious. Here it is rephrased:

IMO, Google wants to show a business located near the user that's selling what they're looking for, rather than a site that has invested resources into link building and a perfectly optimized site. This is why we see an increase in 10-packs. Do you not agree with that?

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