I'm not talking orders of magnitude different - but noticeably different. Different enough that you can optimize your site in a way that helps you target even more qualified buyers to your local business.
Check out this video for a quick snippet of how Google Caffeine provides different results for the same exact search terms Googled by different people, in different cities at just about the same time.
Did you notice different search results?
The top three results were not consistent
The fourth result was always a local map unique to the searcher, be it Erin in San Francisco or Dan in Phoenix
Why is does Google Caffeine serve varied results?
Personalized search preferences, like sites you've looked at before, can impact what results you see in the future.
Google knows where you are and wants to give you results that might meet your local needs best.
What should your business do to have a chance to be included in that fourth map view listing?
1. Register your business with Google Local - Free
Google wants you to register your business online, then verifies your listing by either calling you or sending snail mail to your address. Once registered, your business has the
chance to appear in Google's Local Business Results
for a given search term. But, your ranking inside the Local Listings is based on Google's ranking algorithm that awards well-optimized pages and inbound links to your website from other websites, so be sure to do step 2.
2. Blog about local topics and optimize all your content for geographic keywords
What is next?
It turns out that social search is having the same impact on results. So, once you've ensured that your business profile and local listings are great, get yourself on Yelp!, Angie's List and local publications and review sites.
Learn something new? Let us know and share your local stories and tips with us.
Originally published May 27, 2010 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016