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Strange Google SERPS for City/Town Searches

10:07 pm on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My website is a service based offering and most of the most popular searches for me are (service in <city> <state>) as an example.

Lately when I do a search like this on Google I am seeing a number of portal websites that are very unrelevant. They are broad reach websites that have one link to specific service that is part of the search query.

I know searches that include a city or town name are probably tougher for Google to figure out the real relevancy, but it seems to be getting worse.

Was curious if anyone else has noticed this. I've contacted Google about this, but as of yet nothing has changed in the search results.

[edited by: tedster at 11:03 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2006]
[edit reason] generalize search terms [/edit]

3:04 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've also seen some real oddities and non-relevant results in Google's local search too. In one case I remember, [city] [state] barber gave me a few funeral parlors.

Local search means aggregating data from several sources, and the art of aggragating, and even vetting the original feeds for accuracy, may still be quite formative. I could see a far-ranging portal end up in the wrong slots.

3:05 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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boston, i presume that you are talking about local queries on google and not local.google, correct?

what type of portals are you talking about? are they authorities on an industry or geographic bases, but simply lack quality content?

are auto-gen spam pages?


describe what you are seeing.

9:41 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are what you are calling "auto-gen spam pages" the pages I keep seeing that are generated by a site using the search term I input and either have nothing to do with my search or are simply another list of links? I am reaching a point on my google searches that more than half of the results I get are like that and it is really a pain. If the results like that keep growing I would think that eventially google users will get fed up an with lousy results and find other sources.

4:03 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are you aware there was a google patent published last August on local search for google.

You can read about it at either cre8asite.com or seorefugee.com

Bill Slawski at cre8site summarized the patent and relavent terms.

I have tested it with various observations.

I believe it went into effect last February, with the superbowl update 2005. At that time, google started showing local businesses that had reasonable optimization.

As of a year ago it wiped out a variety of sites that had no relevancy on local search queries; ie amazon and ebay...and in their place were relevant sites/busiensses services.

It also seems to eliminate or weaken the relevancy of large scale multi faceted directories with large tree like structures.

It does seem to provide for highly relevant results for a modicum of effort on sites.