Don't Trust Google Local Search
Has Google and its Google Local Search feature got too clever for its own good?
If you search in Google Local search for your specific business type and town on different computers, different browsers you will get different results. Many things within the Google algorithm affects the results that are displayed including your search history. This may lead you to believe that your local optimisation is doing better than you thought.
For example I have just done a Google Local search for “tree surgeons in Leatherhead”, one using the Firefox browser and one using the Chrome browser. Below are screenshots of the two Google My Business (Google Local Maps) listing results for this search phrase.
Firefox Google Local Search Results
Chrome Google Local Search Results
If you were the business owner of Crown Tree Surgery and you searched on Firefox you would be happy being in the second position; however, this is not what a potential customer would see if they searched on Chrome and the chances are they would call one of the three companies listed below the map (statistics show that 40% of people will click on one of these).
Warning: If you frequently visit your own business website, which we all do to make changes etc. your search history will give you a false sense that your Google Local search ranking is higher than it really is, because it pushes your most visited websites to the top.
How To Check Where Your Business Is REALLY Ranked In Google Local Search
All browsers have the facility to browse privately. In essence this hides everything and means the search results are unaffected by outside influences.
To access the private browsing in Firefox and Chrome please follow these steps:
Step 1: Click File
Step 2: Select New Private Window
Or click Ctrl+Shift+P
Step 1: Click the three little dots (top right hand corner)
Step 2: Select New Incognito Window
Or click Ctrl+Shift+N
The actual Google Local search results for the same search phrase “tree surgeons in Leatherhead” when using private browsing shows the same real results, which are shown below in the images:
Firefox, private window browsing
Chrome, incognito window browsing
Why Local Optimisation is key for your business
46% of all searches on Google are searching for a local business which means the map and 3-pack (the three companies listed below the map) are most likely to be clicked on. Every local business owner needs to focus on getting their business listed in the relevant 3-pack for their business.
Now is the time to get your business optimised for Google Local search – before your competitors do.