• http://sem-group.net/ the_gman

    I have noticed this and I was wondering what the hell the deal was. I find it amazing that Google has done this as a conscious decision.

  • http://wabookclub.blogspot.com garg.pankaj

    The local data is very much licensed and is in a really bad shape because it is manually edited by the companies who own it (e.g. axiom).

    Local search terms mentioned are typically mapped manually (partially) to the relevant places (?) and since this is not exhaustive you will always find such cases.
    e.g. “tennis shoes boston” gives me good results but not “tennis strings boston” or “racquet string boston”.

  • http://www.contentwriter.com.au contentwriter

    Interesting. I agree that if people just type in “web designer” or “seo company” (or in my case “content writer” or “seo copywriter”) they should NOT get the map with local results. I want to be found by people everywhere, not just in the small city I happen to live in at the moment.

    But you would think that if people typed in a city name or other location, they are actually looking for local results and the maps could be useful. Although if you have optimized your website for your location, you should get found anyway. And I do all my work online, people don’t need to visit me or even know where I am located so in that sense the maps aren’t always useful or necessary.

    If Google says this is how it interprets “user intent” – I’m wondering if they only claim to understand the intent of users in a few countries. Because if you type in “web designer Sydney” (or Auckland, Tokyo, Singapore etc.) you DO get the map with local results. What’s the rationale behind that then?

  • http://wabookclub.blogspot.com garg.pankaj

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that since I am in India I had to type city name to get the boston local results. Otherwise the intent is understood by the queries only. Maybe you can try “tennis shoes” vs “tennis strings” to see the local results in your area. For me “tennis shoes” queries do not give me local results. Because local data in India is pathetic.

    There will be several queries working in US which donot work in Sydney. If not, Sydney has got very good local data licensing company :-). But this does not mean google is doing something different for Sydney.

    Typically Yellow Pages (local) data will have a business (e.g. Sportsline in Boston) along with few tags (like “tennis”, “shoes”, “racquets” etc..), which is how the “intent” is understood. e.g. “tennis clothing boston” gets me local results on map, however “tennis apparel boston” does not which means there are only handpicked (by the data owners and not google) keywords where google throws local results.

  • Brian Lewis

    There were a number of Google modifications that coincided with this rather dramatic and very significant modification. I want to say that these
    changes initiated about 10 weeks ago. I know because I had initiated the original post about the “one box” issue where searching “dodge orlando”, resulted in a one box for Orlando Dodge dealership and not all relevant dodge dealers in Orlando. Well, they improved those types of results however, my belief with regard to their elimination of a broader category of marketing agencies in a 7 pack and even as a one box for a specific business name search is absolutely egregious. I believe this was a deliberate business decision on Google’s part and not a decision based on improved relevancy. Are you kidding me? Say I am a business owner expanding into a new market and I am looking for an ad agency. I want to see listings not just those that have the highest ranking websites. To be continued!

  • http://www.zizinya.com sdefrawi

    This is ridiculous. Everyone thought it was a glitch for the past several months and now they reveal that it was no accident. Couple this opacity with the senseless AdWords suspensions and you’ve got a company that is, by all standards, evil.

  • http://wabookclub.blogspot.com garg.pankaj

    I am trying to explain the reason for the business decision. Most of the blogs have the inherent feeling that google has control over everything and they just take decisions whether they want to release it for the public or not :).

    In this case I think the decision is whether to release something that works 50% of the times.

  • http://www.abfabseo.com abfabmedia

    I find this a nice move on Google’s part. It has been quite tiresome searching and find all the fake addresses and mobile phone numbers all over the UK and USA.

    Some people make boatloads out of SEO so what’s up with having a pay per click campaign in your locale?

    We all know how to work the system but, personally, my wife and I operate a small honest business and don’t want to stoop low and have crap listings everywhere.

    The more sensible of us know that Google are going to catch you so from a business standpoint it’s great that Google have made the naughty boys and girls “knock it off”

    Nice one Google ;)

    David
    Plymouth, Devon

  • http://incrediblehelp incrediblehelp

    This makes sense to me. Why Should Google show local results when it is not necessary to be local to conduct a SEO, PPC or web design service for a client?

  • http://www.webdesignability.com terrydunn

    I think google are being less than honest here, particularly as their mantra is relevance. Their comments are wishy-washy and they are hiding behind ‘in the interests of the user’. I think there is a not so hidden agenda.

  • http://seo-expert-for-hire.blogspot.com seo4hire

    hmmm.. i don’t know what’s their reason for those results but for the interest of the user.. one doesn’t type the specific location if he/she doesn’t want localized results.

  • http://www.chotrul.com/ Chotrul

    It’s pretty hard to imagine why Google thinks that users *do not* want local results with a ‘SEO Colchester’ type query. That has a location and an activity …. what else could you possibly be looking for?

  • http://seobuilders seobuilders

    Ladies, gentlemen, this has nothing to do with Google not displaying the results because SEO services can be served worldwide.

    This has to do with what David from Plymouth touched on.

    Basically SEO is not a proven service – not just yet.
    Thousands of un-ethical companies tout and claim they offer SEO services when if fact they don’t know what they are doing. Hundreds claim to be experts but there is no proof and no guarantee in the service.

    Saying you offer SEO services is like saying you know Google.

    Here is an example of what is going on in the world of SEO.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002002970_nwbizbriefs12.html

    We can’t expect Google to gamble user satisfaction with a service that has no standards yet.