Imagine living during the dark ages. You reside within a fortress that has fortified walls on all sides of its parameter. Your fortress is absolutely enormous; thousands upon thousands of people inhabit it and work to keep it functional on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. As for the actual size of the fortress; it takes up over 65 percent of the known kingdom (making your fortress the most powerful). Life is good. Your fortress is bigger and better than everyone else’s. You go about your daily business helping those who stop at your gates for information. In fact, you receive a lot more visitors than the next biggest fortress that only takes up 15.5 percent of the kindgom (they seem to yell Yahoo! a lot over there too).
The only downfall as a dweller within your fortress is change (according to one of your mathematicians, your fortress makes changes approximately 500 times per year!). Your king, named Google, is absolutely obsessed with changing things around in order to help those who are in need of finding their “something”. People within the fortress have answers for everything, and they utilize the most up-to-date knowledge regarding all of the various resources throughout the land, which makes change necessary. On top of that, more and more visitors come to your fortress for search help every single day, which makes efficiency necessary to stay above the other fortresses within the kindgom.
Way back, this analogy for finding help wasn’t far off from the truth. Word of mouth was that era’s search engine. People knew what was going on from those who were willing or paid to let them know – town criers. Today, search help is much different. We simply hit the power button on our computer and search for “life in the dark ages” or “best apple cobbler recipe”. We can avoid actual interaction with people now more than ever because of various resources like Google, Yahoo and Bing. In my analogy, Google is king. Google makes over 500 changes a year to their algorithm in order to make their system more efficient and effective. And up until recently (within the last year), there used to be only 10 results on the first page of Google. Now, if you perform a Google search for “st louis restaurants”, you will receive approximately 18 results on the first page that Google perceives are relevant answers to your search query (7 of which are local results).
However, why aren’t you listed in the local rankings? You’re a restaurant. You’re located in St. Louis, right? Or, was it Brentwood or Maryland Heights? That should constitute as St. Louis…or greater St. Louis? Confused? Well, Google has begun to really put an emphasis on “geo” tags (keyword phrases that contain a geographic keyword such as “st louis” or “el paso”).
Additionally, from where you search can affect your rankings as well. If you do a search on “land for sale in missouri” from the location Maryland Heights, you will see that a site like bpinc.com is currently ranking first. However, if you do the same search from a location like Beverly Hills, CA, you will see that bpinc.com is currently ranked 6th.
Wondering how to get ranked within your kingdom or locality? Below is information provided by Google verbatim as to why you may not be ranking for specific local searches – Source Article.
Relevance: Relevance is how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. A complete and detailed listing in Places can help us better understand your business and match you to relevant search results.
Distance: Just like it sounds — how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If you don’t specify a location in your search, we’ll calculate distance based on what we know about your location.
Prominence: This describes how well-known or prominent a listing can be. This is based on information we have about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and we try to reflect this online as well. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be more prominent in search results.