Google: Proximity Not A Factor For Local Service Ads Rankings

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Google has made it clear that a business’s proximity to a searcher is no longer a primary determinant in the ranking of Local Services Ads. This adjustment signifies Google’s evolving comprehension of what holds significance for users seeking local service providers.

Chris Barnard, a Local SEO Analyst at Sterling Sky, initiated the conversation by noting a modification in a Google Help Center article. In a screenshot, he underscores that Google has eliminated the section mentioning proximity as a factor in local search ad rankings.

Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison, responded to clarify the adjustment. In her statement, Marvin emphasized:

“LSA ranking has evolved over time as we have learned what works best for consumers and advertisers. We’ve observed that proximity of a business’ location is often not a primary determinant of relevancy.

For instance, the physical location of a home cleaning business matters less to potential customers than whether their home falls within the business’ service area.”

Marvin underscored that this wasn’t an abrupt change but rather an update to “more accurately reflect these ranking considerations” based on Google’s insights.

The revised article now outlines that location relevance factors encompass:

“…the context of a customer’s search, the service or job a customer is searching for, time of the search, location, and other characteristics.”

Proximity Still A Factor For Service Areas

Google upholds policies that mandate service providers to restrict their ad targeting to areas they can adequately serve from their business locations.

As Marvin highlights, Google’s Local Services platform policies specify:

“Local Services aims to connect consumers with local service providers. Targeting your ads to areas that are distant from your business location and/or beyond your reasonable service range creates a negative and potentially perplexing experience for consumers.”

Why SEJ Cares

By diminishing the emphasis on proximity, Google is granting its ad-serving algorithms the flexibility to highlight the most relevant and capable providers. This adaptation enables the results to align more closely with user intent and connect searchers with companies that can feasibly serve their location.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal