A recent Think With Google article suggests that search engine optimization “near me” will bring good luck in extra good rankings and qualified referral traffic.
“Near Me” has been one of the optimizations of the term that many of us have recommended for the benefit of local SEO for years.
But, there are reasons to think that this tactic has completely jumped the shark, making it a waste of time.
And for those who optimized by creating a trade name around the phrase, Google’s changes have essentially destroyed the search for brand names in Maps.
‘Open now near me’ searches up 400%
In March, Bill Ready, president of commerce, payments, and the next billion users of Google, wrote the 2022 Retail Marketing Guide: Boosting on-the-fly traffic and in-store sales. This part caught my eye:
“Searches for ‘open now near me’ have grown more than 400% year-on-year worldwide.”
“Close to me” searches are queries for local products or services that include qualifying terms such as “near me” when consumers want to restrict them from seeing only or primarily the companies closest to them.
In addition, during its first-quarter earnings call, Google revealed that Maps searches for [buy near me] increased 100% globally year-on-year.
“Open Now” is a similar type of qualifier that is often used outside the typical 9 to 5 time period or used later in the evening, such as to find restaurants that are still open or clinics and other types of shops that remain open. late at night.
While separate “near me” or “open now” business searches are used more often, it’s no wonder that the two qualifying phrases can be used simultaneously in queries.
The rise of ‘near me’ search optimization
If you’ve been working in local SEO for a long time, this isn’t particularly surprising. We have known for about a decade that search engine optimization “close to me” had great potential for many types of businesses in many markets.
The 400% year-on-year growth rate is revealing, indicating that consumers have grown more and more to expect these qualifiers to help them locate more accurately what they need.
The increasing use of mobile devices when searching has greatly influenced the “near me” trend and has helped drive overall increases in local search volume.
Google Trends demonstrates the growing popularity of “near me” searches, which is what Ready based its statement on:
Related searches that include “open now” also show considerable growth over time:
Along with others in the industry, I strongly recommend that local businesses optimize their ideal keywords in combination with “close to me” phrases. There are a number of such phrases that consumers use, such as:
I also did optimizations using these phrases on behalf of the clients. In one case (a lawyer), keyword research showed that no other competing niche lawyer used phrases “close to me.” I created a page optimized for your “close to me” specialization phrase. Their referrals increased by about 20%.
Get the daily search newsletter that marketers trust.
Phrase optimization “near me” was a solid gold recommendation for a long time in local search. It was almost a slam-dunk.
Because when you had a website and web pages that included a “near me” page or pages, along with the business category name for the industry, for many businesses where people wanted local suppliers, that would connect local consumers. with Google Maps web pages and charts for these businesses. which had been optimized for this. Since many companies had no idea about optimization, this provided a stealthy marketing weapon that virtually guaranteed increases in valuable referrals.
The rise of ‘near me’ businesses
In recent years, several companies have taken this optimization to the next level.
When designing your own brand name to include “near me”.
If you look at U.S. business registration databases, you’ll quickly find that there are several companies in the United States that have included “near me” in their official trade names.
This includes many business categories beyond some of the more predictable ones (e.g., locksmiths).
Clearly, many companies took the idea of optimizing queries “close to me” and turned it into a core piece of their strategy that could be expected to return many referrals.
With all of your online collateral materials associating “close to me” with your business, how could they not qualify for these searches?
Business listings for “Near Me” in Nevada
Business listings for “Near Me” in New York (partial list).
Dentist near me in El Paso, Texas
Sushi Near Me in Los Angeles, California
Custom signs near me, Denver, Colorado
Locksmith Near Me Miami, Florida: A service area business
24 HR Locksmith Near Me, Jacksonville, Florida – A Service Area Business
“Close to me” business of locksmiths, massagers and moving companies, Manhattan, New York. It is unclear whether these are service area companies or false alternative business listings.
Exterminator Near Me, Indianapolis, Indiana
I will take some of the blame for that.
In the distant past, I jokingly promoted some “extreme local SEO tactics”, such as the famous “rename your business” tip to include some of the top keywords that users type into search engines when they search for your business type in your area “. . ” (That wasn’t against the rules at the time, by the way.)
He had also written some “definitive local SEO tactics” that included the idea of having the streets with the company name, or even having a city or country with your company or brand name!
Part of the purpose of these prank articles was to educate people about how Google and Google Maps search were based so much on literal keyword matching that getting keyword optimizations could make a business appear more prominently for local business searches.
Google has finally figured it out
About 10 years ago, when it became clear that consumers were increasingly looking for local businesses while combining the phrase “near me” in their queries, I wondered why Google didn’t design a special treatment for the phrase.
I asked a Google Maps representative about this issue and they told me they had a lot on their list of development priorities, but that was something they would probably do.
Well, it looks like Google finally got it.
Google has now done this so that a “near me” query returns local businesses that best match one’s search terms in Maps / Local listings. To do this, Google clearly extracts the “near me” part of the user’s query and relates the rest of the query to the businesses and websites that it believes are closest to the user’s location. This handling negates the effectiveness of performing keyword optimizations with “near me” phrases for Google Maps / local search.
Local ranking showdown: business name vs. proximity
I saw this happen anecdotally, but after locating a number of the companies listed above to investigate how they were ranked in their localities for search phrases “near me” that exactly match the names of your companies, the results are amazing.
When you search for “ER Near Me” with a Dallas IP address, 11 companies appear in Maps results before a list appears for “ER Near Me”. In contrast, the search for other companies in the list by name causes them to appear first in the list and sometimes themselves in the results.
Searching for another generic sound mark by name, “Texas ER”, yields results showing two of their locations first on Google Maps, followed by other companies interspersed with more locations for “Texas ER”.
This is why search results for “ER Near Me” are interesting: If Google determined that your query was probably a business name search, your listing would be listed first.
This dynamic is really amazing. Google has worked hard to try to include a business listing first in search results for the exact search for your brand. This is being denied for tabs with “near me” company names.
There is a classification warning for name search if the name appears to be spam (such as those with crowded keywords). It could be speculated that companies with names “close to me” could be treated as stuffed keywords, which would nullify their keyword profit. However, I found that they can still be classified for “near me” queries; it just depends on the proximity to the search engine.
Searching for “dentist near me” in El Paso on Google Maps, I found a hundred lists on Maps and resigned: The company called Dentist Near Me did not appear when using an IP address downtown El Paso area. .
However, the business is located in the far east of the city, and by changing the browser’s IP address to a location much closer to that address, I was able to get the Dentist Near Me list in the fourth organic position in Maps. “Locksmith near me” in Miami was 16th.
The search for “Sushi Near Me” in Los Angeles did not return the business with that name to the top three search results. The search for “Boxes Near Me” in Phoenix yielded the company’s list in fifth place. The “locksmith 24 hours near me” was at position 24 on Maps for a “locksmith near me” search in Jacksonville. The search for “Exterminator Near Me” in Indianapolis ranked the company at 56th.
“Custom Signs Near Me” in Denver seems to be an exception to how this works. But I think this is largely because the business is close to downtown Denver and there are few other custom signage companies that are close to the focal point.
Switching to a Lakewood search, located right next to Denver, moves the list position down a number of spaces. “Custom signage” may also be less recognized as a business category than “signage” by Google. Doing a search for “sign shops near me” in Denver ranks the company’s list in fifth place. It is likely that the company has only been ranked by its location near the city center, not by keyword optimization for “near me” in the company name.
While searching for examples of companies with “close to me” in their official names, I came across many more cases that are fake business names and locations. Several companies have created additional tabs in Google Maps for the names “_______ near me”. They often use the exact same address as their usual business, perhaps expecting consumers to search “near me”, see the location, and arrive in a hypnotized state to enter the business with the actual brand signage.
The three listings I show above Manhattan (a locksmith, a moving company, and a massage provider) could be false lists. In many cases, some “near me” tabs appear to be completely fake, appear for service area companies, and once you see their specific locations, they are next to the police stations, under elevated steps, in the next to parks or next to shared workspace locations. Predictably, these listings are for removal companies, locksmiths, roofing contractors, plumbers, and categories of companies that have long been plagued with false list problems.
Now, for the actual “near me” businesses I documented, some of their websites featured prominently in the usual search results for keywords outside of Google Maps, often in the top organic position, but not always .
“Close to me” keyword optimization seems to still work there, and there may be some level of value in terms of referral traffic. But experience indicates that the highest value should be in the search for Maps.
Many consumers looking for a local provider are searching directly on the Google Maps app, and they will see other businesses most of the time for “near me” searches, not those overly optimized businesses.
Google itself indicates that consumers show a local intent with these queries, because each of the test queries reflected search results combined with Maps 3-Pack at the top, before the usual keyword search results.
Is ‘near me’ optimization a detriment to businesses?
When local SEOs started recommending keyword optimizations for “near me”, there were some slight criticisms that keyword optimization was difficult to incorporate into websites and directory listings in a way natural. But doing so, adding it to company names, is much more of an option that appeals to you than just including it in a few paragraphs, page titles, and isolated headings.
Incorporating it into trade names seems to be detrimental to building a non-generic brand.
While including valuable keywords in a business name can often have synergistic value if done right, these brands near me seem to be brute force functional search marketing above all other marketing and marketing considerations. Mark.
No doubt some would call these marks rubbish. I don’t think these will work so well for word of mouth marketing or for repeat business.
Because Google now uses the “near me” parts of user queries as a type of proximity indicator, rather than a literal keyword matching phrase, its use in brand optimization is certainly a serious disadvantage at this time.
Customers who want to re-use a business often search online for the business name, and if they do so on Maps, they’ll have a hard time finding those businesses because Google’s functionality is now impairing their ability to rank. well for brand searches.
I don’t think this is necessarily any kind of sanction. Google simply found that “near me” queries are much more common expressions of consumers who wanted to get specific types of businesses closer to their physical locations instead of companies with names that match the queries “near me” My”.
For established businesses, one of the main types of search queries that will refer to traffic over time is brand queries. While using “close to me” in brands may have paid dividends in the past, the tactic is now a big detriment to a local business’s online strategy.
A gimmick whose time has passed
The article Think With Google, which refers to the 400% year-over-year growth in “open now near me” searches, advised companies to optimize their site to take advantage of these queries. Google did not provide instructions on how to do this.
However, I believe that this optimization should no longer mean the inclusion of keywords “close to me” in web marketing materials, let alone involve the connection of the company name to include the phrases “open now” and “close to me”.
Optimizing would mean updating your business hours, honestly, in your Google business profile and including all the address and location signals in your online collateral to make your location signals very high. strong.
Proximity to the user is not the only criterion. Optimizing prominence signals is vital (e.g., the volume and speed of reviews, which other websites mention and coming to your business website).
Bottom line: All the benefits of incorporating “near me” into your business name are largely offset by disadvantages.
The views expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are shown here.
New on Search Engine Land
About The Author
Comment ajouter une adresse sur Google My Business ?
Find your up-to-date address on Google My Business
- Open the Google My Business app.
- Access your account webpage by clicking & quot; Profile & quot; at the bottom of the screen.
- Click the address field and click the pencil icon to begin editing.
What comes under local SEO?
Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business become more visible in local search results on Google. Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO.
What is a local SEO module? Local SEO is a process of search engine optimization that helps businesses rank in the local searches of Google and other search engines. For example, if someone searches for “pizzerias near me,” “Brooklyn’s best coffee shop,” or “plumbing service,” the local seg will help you get to the top of the search. results.
What is included in local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website in order to increase traffic, leads, and brand awareness from local search. Common tasks associated with local SEO include finding local keywords, optimizing a company’s Google My Business profile, and creating “NAP” citations.
What we do in local SEO?
And local SEO refers to the process of trying to optimize your online visibility to show up in these local search results. Local SEO is crucial because it helps you: Improve your online visibility. Bring more traffic on foot to your physical location.
Pourquoi créer un compte Google Business ?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free web-based tool that helps you improve your referral to Google in a targeted geographic search. It is therefore an ideal tool for all local shops.
Do you want to use Google My Business? Every society, no matter what its industry, can benefit from the service. So you can use an SME or a large company, you can use Google My Business for free and unlimited.
Pourquoi s’inscrire sur Google My Business ?
For internet users, the Google My Business listing is a mine of information. When they start a geolocated search, Google My Business lets you know more about businesses nearby. The information in the listings is verified for this purpose and is referred to in the Google Local Guides.
How do I access my Google business account?
Est-ce que Google My Business est gratuit ?
No, creating a Google listing is not paid. It won’t cost you anything if you want to create one. You can manage after Google search or Maps to start reaching more customers.
Comment mettre son commerce sur Google ?
Find your Google My Business site and sign in to your Google Account or create one specifically for your business. Then click ‘Connect’ and then ‘Add your establishment’ at the bottom of the page. Enter the name of your business.
Qu’est-ce que c’est Google My Business ?
Google My Business listings allow customers to deposit from notices and put a note to 5 together of the customer experience during their in-store shopping. The goal is to reassure consumers by automatically displaying alerts and answers.
Quel est l’intérêt d’utiliser Google My Business ?
Google My Business is a tool that allows you to improve your visibility on the Internet. Thanks to the information collected in the tabs (address, phone, hours, grandparents, website), your establishments will appear in the Google search engine thanks to the local packaging, it will allow you to increase your SEO reference.
Quelles sont les catégories Google ?
The main category corresponds to the category that describes your establishment in the most general way possible. Secondary categories, on the other hand, refer to the particular services or products offered by your establishment.
Pourquoi s’intéresser aux moteurs de recherche en tant qu’entreprise ?
1- SEO allows exponential growth It takes time, but it’s worth it: the first page of Google results generates 90% of clicks; the site in the first position gets more than 30% of visitors on average (backlinko).
Quel est l’intérêt de Google ?
Google allows you to be better online, if you’re active and popular on the web. You save money, internet referral is one of the keys to your web achievement. It must be both present and easily accessible to Internet users.
Why is my company not showing up on Google?
The most common reason your business isn’t shown on Google Maps is because your business doesn’t have location authority. If your GMB listing (location) doesn’t have location authority, you’ll need to be nearby or directly in your business location to appear on Google Maps.
How long does it take for my Google business to show up on Google? How long does it take to see my business listing on Google once verified? Once you’ve created or claimed your “Google My Business” listing, it can take up to 1 or 2 weeks to show up on Google Maps and Google Search.