Avatar Office

Avatar News: April 2017

Written By: Mark Rocket & Joanne Coleman
Published by: Avatar Ltd

Greetings All,

This month we review the results of an interesting local search survey and have our usual collection of tidbits, sites of interest, cartoon and a top value pick about the importance of citations. May The 4th Be With you!

Local Search Ranking Factors In 2017

Local Search Ranking Factors In 2017

The ‘2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey’ results are in and it seems reviews, links and behavioural signals are gaining elevation, while GMB (Google My Business), on-page, citation, personalisation and social signals sit in a relative holding pattern labelled ‘Foundational Factors’.

The survey is a summary of the combined know-how of about forty SEO industry experts. The survey provides valuable insight into the murky world of Google’s local search ranking factors and helps businesses better understand where their focus should be in order to increase rankings within local search engine results pages.

A major point of difference between this year’s survey and previous years is the distinction between foundational ranking factors and ranking factors that provide a competitive difference. ‘Foundational Factors’ are considered to be necessary in order to actually appear in Google search results pages but they do not guarantee positive ranking movement, while the ‘Competitive Difference Makers’ are exactly that – more likely to help raise your ranking above that of a competitor. Interestingly the survey results do vary quite noticeably under each category, take a look below.

Top Five Foundational Ranking Factors

  • Proper GMB Category Associations
  • Consistency of Citations on the Primary Data Sources
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  • Consistency of Citations on Tier 1 Citation Sources

Top Five Competitive Difference Makers

  • Quality / Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Industry-Relevant Domains
  • Quality / Authority of Inbound Links to GMB Landing Page URL
  • Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally Relevant Domains
  • Quantity of Native Google Reviews (with text)

Put simply, the survey reinforces the importance of building quality inbound links from prominent and relevant industry related sites, along with the need for a greater number of reviews. It’s also important to ensure the groundwork has been laid with good GMB category selection, a valid business address within the town or city you wish to attract business and having a good range of citations from quality sources (see the Top Value Pick below for more about citations).

Go to the Moz.com website to view the full survey results.

Top Value Pick

The Importance of Citations. Google will give your website kudos for business listings or citations that include your business name, address and phone number (NAP). Look out for opportunities with industry body websites, your local chamber of commerce and business directories. These ideally include your website address too, but that’s not always an option. More info here


Google Earth Has Been Updated. If you’re a local attraction, tourism or service type business, then it’s worth checking out how you look on the new Google Earth.

Go Ricky. Kudos to Ricky Gervais for winning a prestigious animal welfare award.

Happy Star Wars Day. A big week for Star Wars fans. May The 4th Be With You.

Sites Of Interest

Here are a few sites we’ve been working on recently.

Vice Espresso (Online Marketing)

Vice Espresso

USAVE (Online Marketing)


Cartoon Of The Month


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