Google has recently launched a limited test where local pack snippets show website mentions that match consumer query.
Matt Schexnayder of SpareFoot, a search engine for storage companies, sent Search Engine Land a tip on local pack results displaying the test outcome.
If consumer searches for “climate control” in a specific location, for example, the search results will have an additional line in the snippet that indicates a storage company does have “climate controlled” storage units.
(Photo by Matt Schexnayder on Search Engine Land. http://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2017/08/google-local-website-mentions-424×600.png)
The search snippet, however, will only appear on a local pack result if those exact keywords were mentioned on the website. In this case, the websites returned mentioned climate control in their web pages.
Google has no comment at the moment if the limited test is another step towards using a website content in the local listing for ranking purposes. But it certainly helps consumers narrow down their options.
One thing is certain, Google local is aware when a local business website has the content that matches the keywords in the query.
This gives businesses and marketers something else to think about when deciding whether or not to focus their resources on “near me” search query and other “geo-modifiers”.
Google has recently hinted that “near me” search query is no longer worth spending valuable SEO on since the company is “seeing a shift toward dropping location qualifiers (like zip [sic] codes, neighborhoods, and “near me” phrasing) in local searches”.
Thanks to people’s mobile, search results are automatically relevant to their location.
Over the last two years, the search giant has also seen a 150% growth of comparable searches that no longer uses “near me”.
However, when people use implicit and explicit local search queries, search results still overlap which shows that Google doesn’t evaluate queries the same way all the time.
Whether or not the limited test becomes a ranking factor, local businesses should ensure important key terms, particularly those that their clients look for, are mentioned on their website.
There is no need to drop “near me” just yet since it would still work to your advantage, what with the most location-related search term is still any keyword and “nearby”, such as storage units nearby and tacos nearby.