Google’s Local Algorithm, how does it work?

Do you know how the Google local algorithm works? Do you need to find how to rank in local search and heighten your visibility in the local crowd?

Competition makes local search ranking more difficult every day. The Google local algorithm is continuously updating to guarantee that search results match the user’s demand.

Learn more about Google’s local algorithm and the three main factors that drive it.

As SEO agency in London, we should be aware of these updates and be able to adapt the changes in strategy subsequently. If we don’t, we may lose our local search presence in an instant. This guide will help you understand the local search algorithm and the three main factors that drive it, so we can stay ahead of the competition and know what to look out for.

The three major ranking pillars are relevance, proximity, and prominence. Understanding each main factor, we can set up for success in local search and overcome Google’s local algorithm.


It is a key element of Google’s local algorithm. You should also answer this question, does the IT services business do or sell or have the attributes that the searcher is looking for?

To make sure that the search engines like Google or Yahoo view your IT services business is appropriate to appear online, we should know that we’re targeting keywords that prospective clients would be searching for. For example, an IT services company in London, you’d want make sure that Google relates your business to keywords such as “IT services London.”

How to inform Google’s local algorithm that your IT services business is relevant to the right search queries?

1.      Local Listing Signals

Make sure that all your business’s NAP (name, address, phone number) is correct and updated. Here’s two features that needs to be properly filled out:

a)      Local Category Selection

Selecting relevant categories for your listing is one of the most important factors in ranking locally. These are tags that you identify your business. Be sure to select categories that define your business—the more specific the better.

b)      Business Description

Adding business description will allow searchers to know exactly what you do. These descriptions should give potential clients and search engines the information they need to determine if your IT services business matches their needs.

2.      On-Page Signals

Optimizing your web pages with the targeted keywords will increase relevance and improve your chances of being preferred by the Google local algorithm. By using basic competitor research and analyzing results you can determine what a search engine likes for a given search keyword.

Consider this list of on-page attributes to increase relevance for a target keyword:

  • Content – It determine if it ranks or not.
  • Title Tag – It’s a great way to integrate website target keyword to draw a click from a searcher.
  • Meta Description – It allows you to expand on title tag and add more context to what your website is about.
  • Body Tags – It should be descriptive and explain the content.
  • Alt Text – Always include Alt text to describe images in your website
  • Internal and Outbound Linking – These increase relevance by creating a navigation path to similar pages inside or outside your website.
  • Schema – It helps ensure the best search results and improves the way your website is displayed in search results.

3.      Off-Page Signals

Off-page signals are external links from one website pointing to your website. Off-page signals are also known as backlinks. The better backlinks, the higher your website will be


For proximity, the algorithm answers the question, “Is the business close enough to the searcher to be considered to be a good answer for this intent?”

Ways to perform a local search:

1.      Non-Geo Modified Searches

Search engines rely more on the proximity and not on prominence and relevance.

For example, A searcher is in London and search for “IT services.” The local search results will most likely contain IT services that are closest to the searcher.

 2.      Geo-Modified Searches

Geo-modified searches rely heavier on relevance and prominence over proximity, especially if search engines detect that the searcher is not within the city.

For example, if a user searching in Manchester for an IT services in a nearby city, the search query might be “IT services in London.” The search results will be different then if I searched for “IT services” while physically being in Manchester.

3.     “Near Me” Searches

Users are expecting to get the most relevant results “near them.”

For example, a searcher performs a search like “IT services near me.”


For prominence, the algorithm answers the question, “Which businesses are the most popular and the most well regarded in their local market?”

Brands with a stronger online prominence are more credible and trustworthy to the Google local algorithm.

Here’s some tips on how to build, maintain brand prominence, and stands out from the rest:

1.      Online Reviews

Reviews increase ranking signals and push a prospective client to a decision. Customers need to gain trust from a brand or service provided before purchasing or clicking. It can increase a brand’s online prominence.

Here are some tips to gain stronger indicator from online reviews:

Monitor who can access your network by blocking all traffic by default for this can prevent any security breaches.

a)      Review Strategy

First find a way to get more reviews. Always asked your clients for reviews.

b)      Respond to Reviews

Search engines can tell if you engage with clients and reply to their comments.

2.      Citations

It refers to the business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) online. Companies that are mention frequently online are viewed as more credible to search engine algorithms.

3.      Inbound Links or Backlinks

The better links you have pointing to your website the more trust and authority you’ll hold.

Remember these three elements of local algorithm: Relevance, Prominence, and Proximity.

These aspects will help you drive the results you need to increase your ROI. Take the lead, stay ahead of Google’s local algorithm, and focus on the three factors!

Relevance: Does the business do or sell or have the attributes that the searcher is looking for?

Prominence: How well known is your brand online?

Proximity: The distance between the searcher and what they need?

We hope that this article makes it simple to understand the Google’s local algorithm.

Contact us now for a free SEO audit.