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Google Local Geo-targeting Takes Away Non-Local Sales

12:30 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

My question is about how to get around Google local.(make-believe example's, I have trouble with these widgets stories, so I just made some things up here to illustrate.) Let's say I have a great store that sells 70 types of flutes in Cleveland. But flutes are not very popular in Cleveland. I know from my experience that Las Vegas has large number of flute players. There may be 500,000 potential buyers in Las Vegas. Now in the past my nice website the talked so much about flutes, and is such a great resource would draw traffic from all over the country. But recently there is very little traffic from Las Vegas, and less from around the country. I suspect that many websites from Las Vegas have sprung up. Some not so good, some okay, but they have displaced my website from the SERPS in Las Vegas. What to do?

Another example. Let's say I have a small shop in Spain that makes sheepskin seat covers for Chrysler minivans. My market is USA. But the website has very little traffic, impressions are low, because Chrysler minivans are not in my local area. The people who are searching for seat covers for Chrysler minivans are in America. Small number of links are all coming from USA. Not many links available for seat covers.

Both are .com TLD's . The second one has its country preference in webmaster tools set for USA.
What to do?
12:48 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google would say..."have you heard of adwords ?..you can use adwords to make your local shop / business, show above or alongside SERPs for your items/ products/ services/ keywords in other areas / countries"..
12:54 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Do you have your physical address in text throughout your site? If yes are more likely to get more heavily weighted locally, if you don't then Google gives you less trust (as well as your potential customers). Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If you know of a particular hotspot for your product that is away from you try to get a few back links from places that have that city name in their pages. But of course these days you have to be especially careful about anchor text. Also try incorporating some of those city names into text on your pages wherever you can squeeze them in naturally. Something like..."this product is a favourite with professional Las Vegas pipers" (as long as it's true of course).

Linking out to music venues in that area might also help if you pick your spots very carefully. There are many ways to creatively work regional placenames into content in a natural and balanced manner but it's a delicate exercise these days so careful thought is needed.

At least these are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling.
7:31 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

I had another thought, a bit more focused, continuing along the same music theme. It's the type of a site (the piper site) where I would try to get links back from sites that offer music lessons in city X. Preferably of course from one that offers flute lessons. Just don't ask for exact match keyword links! That way you get the city reference you need as well as a link from an umbrella theme (music).

If you can get in touch with the site owner you can workout something mutually beneficial. Like on their site for example they can having something like "if you do not already have a widget may we suggest checking out these quality widgets at affordable prices..." -- where only the word prices will become the anchor text. That has an added benefit too because often times searchers are looking for prices. And of course you can offer reciprocal links such as "are you just learning to play blah blah blah..." where you would anchor "learning to play" as the link. Just make sure you carefully analyze the site you are going to link out to so that you don't do them more harm than good by using words that might hurt their ranking.

It's also best to route these types of reciprocal links to one common page on your site via a bookmark to the that category. In a round-about kind of way the site you partnered with would be getting 1 links -- the actual one from the outbound link page and the editorial one pointing to the outbound page.
9:54 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you SevenCubed. I thought of links from that area but did not know how effective that would be.

In the second example, all of their links are from USA. Less than 50. All natural.

So the truth is, in order to get Google to work properly in these circumstances, we have to use unnatural link building.
10:11 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

You consider my suggestions as unnatural?
10:47 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

You consider my suggestions as unnatural?

The extent to which link building is "natural" or "unnatural" will vary by sector.
In the music sector there is a lot of natural mutual linking and the suggestions are just what I (as editor of a music magazine) would suggest. If, of course, the OP's "widgets" are not musical then there may not be the same scope.
10:57 pm on Oct 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If, of course, the OP's "widgets" are not musical then there may not be the same scope.

As any percussionist knows..it's all musical..just hit it rhythmically..:)..it'll be "near enough for jazz" .. ;) ..
8:52 am on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

SevenCubed, the more important question is, does Google consider this unnatural. What is their definition?

So if another music site were to give solicited links, this is still natural?
4:36 pm on Oct 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

SevenCubed, the more important question is, does Google consider this unnatural.

You are giving them far too much credit to think that they have built an algorithm that can unravel carefully woven legitimate links.

Besides, there are many alternative search engines out there that parse it as perfectly natural, and it is. Never mind what google thinks -- they've lost their marbles.

I've used these types of technique for various sites and it works well across all search engines, yes including google.

Just forge ahead with what's best for you and your customers or close shop. Most importantly don't try to get a whole whack of backlinks suddenly. If you can get a very small amount over a year (like a dozen or two) from very high quality relevant sites things will slowly improve. But if you only want to get rich quickly overnight -- I have no suggestions to offer. The more queries your site can answer related not only to the main focus but also the underlying supporting queries the more you become an authority, the higher in rank you will climb, irregardless of what peg hole they currently have you stuffed into.

Don't overlook supporting secondary keywords. They must be built into your content and backlinks. The more local your focus the less you need to implement that. But if your reach extends to a national or international audience it becomes necessary to reach deeper into your barrel of reserves. Only implement as much as necessary until you cover your base audience. In your example -- widget sheet music, widget fingering chart, scales, history, etc... Offer those types of things as a value added perk even if you have to pay someone to produce the originals for you so you can give them away for free. The payoff comes in the form of an extended audience which will improve your chances of selling your product on a broader ground. Over time you will receive residual benefits from it in the form of sales of your primary product.

Your absolute best investment is to find someone who TRULY understands that web copy writing vs offline writing is a completely different ballgame. Both types of writers must be creative but the one writing for the web must also be scientific with an emphasis on numbers (percentages) and patterns rather than only words -- something they probably don't teach in literature classes (yet).

Sooner or later the nice men in their black suits are going to check in on the staff at the Plex to see if they have been taking their meds. When they get locked up you better have developed a site that appeals to all search engines as the playing field evens out. You should develop a site that appeals to an engine such as Bing (currently), then tweak it until google warms up to it. The architecture that Bing parses for is in general what all engines currently use as a guideline to varying degrees. Whereas google is trying to force irrational logic to mold the internet to their needs. It will fail, it's inevitable because they are bucking against the unifying underlying order that keeps chaos from winning.