According the latest studies, the proper on-page set up on your website and high quality local citations collectively work as the positive signals for your local search ranking in Google. From NAP citation to website reviews, and form back links to link domain authority, we can find Google always rewards the quality form all fronts when it comes to local search.
But in this article I am not going to discuss about positive SEO signals for the local search ranking, rather the article is about the negative local ranking factors in Google local search result pages.
- 3 Results Instead Of 7 – Google Updates the “Local Pack”
- The Importance of Local Business Directory in Local SEO
So here are the 25 negative local ranking factors based on my research.
- Incorrect business category
- False business address across web
- Mismatch NAP across different data ecosystem
- Unmaintained sites/malware affected sites
- Violation of Google webmaster guidelines
- Violation of GMB (Google My Business) guidelines
- Mismatch of address details in GMB page
- Multiple location with same phone number
- Absence of crawlable NAP in the website
- Domain Authority of the website
- Quality of the inbound links to your website
- Keyword unoptimized content
- Keywords not in domain name (it still works though they have EMD update)
- Low CTR from the SERP
- Lack of diversity in backlinks to the website
- Lack of diversity in anchor tests used for backlinks
- Missing of microdata/local citation in the website
- Unstructured HTML document of the webpages
- Un-optimized/duplicate title and meta description for the pages
- HTML NAP does not Matching GMB Location NAP
- No Geographic keywords in you anchor texts
- High velocity in your backlinks acquisition
- Authority of the third party site reviews
- Negative review from authority site(Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides,)
- Fake review by Google profiles
In the past 1 year the local search seems have gone for a full-circle. No doubt local search is the most powerful channel for local business to reach your targeted audience. Google recently refined its local rank algorithm; initially they updated the pigeon algorithm then reduced the local display for 7 results to 3 results and many more. So the impact is now from multiple angles.
So if you are a local business and have not optimized your website for Google local search already start it now. The landscape is more competitive now.