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2013 Local Search Ranking Factors Has arrived!

Well boys and girls, the report we’ve all been eagerly waiting for has finally arrived.  What is that you ask? Why it’s the 2013 Local Search Ranking factors by David Mihm over at  It’s a couple of months later than usual but as always it is chock full of FANTASTIC insights into the state of Local Search.

If you are a small business owner targeting a local market or if you are a Search Marketing professional working for those small business owners, this is the document you need to read to learn about all that is LOCAL!

Google Carousel

Google Carousel Listing

Once again, things have changed significantly in the Local Search world and much has changed over the last 13+ months since the previous report came out, That includes the move from Google Places to Google+ Local (which occurred so soon after the last report came out that it was almost a crime), the push from Google to get you to use Google+ and build your authority on their social platform, the Google Carousel for displaying local listings (see image at right), and the increase in the use of Mobile devices to search for… well, just about everything!

So, what’s on the 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors List this year?

2013 Local Search Ranking Factors Overview-Graph

This years Local Search Ranking Factors report is formatted a little differently (personally I think it’s a little easier to deal with that the one from past years).

The focus is on 8 Overall Ranking Factor Signals including:

  • Place Page Signals – 19.6%
  • On-Page Signals – 18.8%
  • External Local Signals – 16%
  • Link Signals – 14.4%
  • Review Signals – 10.3%
  • Personalization – 8.3%
  • Social Signals – 6.3%
  • Behavioral/Mobile Signals – 6.1%

It’s further broken down by:

  • Desktop Search and
  • Mobile Search

2013 Local Search Ranking Factors Desktop vs Mobile

Then once again by the type of Local Result you may encounter including:

  • Localized Organic results,
  • Local Pack/Carousel results, and
  • Maps results.

Instead of listing each of the factors under their related Ranking Factor Signal, as was done last year, this year the signals are just listed under three categories:

  • Foundational Ranking Factors (totaling 83 factors)
  • Competitive Difference Makers (97 factors)
  • Negative Ranking Factors (30 factors)

There are also some factors that were asked of the 35 experts who contributed to the data that received no votes but that may still have some impact on your Local Search results.  Be sure to review those as well.

Finally, there are some great thoughts presented by most of the experts in the Discussion area of the report that are not to be missed.

Bottom line is this… if you are a local business interested in getting ranked in your area or you are a Search professional that is tasked with doing this for your clients, this is once again the MUST READ, MUST BOOKMARK holy grail of Local Search Ranking Factors.  Kudos to David Mihm and the folks over at for putting it all together.

What’s your take on the state of Local Search? Let me know by leaving a comment.

About Steve Scott

Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.

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