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Google Updates Restaurant Search Rankings to Include “Best” and “Cheapest”

Google may be considering making searches for local places with modifiers like “cheapest” and “best” a permanent feature of its search engine results, according to a report from searchenginejournal.com. The finding was initially discovered by Mike Blumenthal of blumenthals.com. He observed that there were new rankings for restaurants while conducting searches for local restaurants.

Google’s Search Modifier Experiment

Blumenthal found that when he inserted the modifier “Best” with a restaurant keyword search, only results displaying 4-star listings were returned. Similarly, searches for “cheap” restaurants displayed listings with only one dollar sign.

According to Search Engine Journal author, Matt Southern, Southern was unable to recreate the results by conducting a search on google.ca. However, other researchers in the United States reported on blumenthals.com that they were able to display similar results for searches.

This event marks the first time that Google has been shown to rank results based on search modifiers, which could help the search engine giant eventually complete with popular review sites, such as Yelp.com. Although Google has not officially confirmed the experiment it appears to be ongoing.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

This testing experiment demonstrates that Google is in fact planning to use rich snippets to improve their search engine results even more. As a result, rich snippets are becoming a must-have feature for local business websites in order to help their content stand out in the search engines.

Since reviews have been proven to help people make decisions about which local businesses are the best answers to local searches, it only makes sense that Google would want to use this information to optimize local search engine results. Google’s search engine algorithm is also all about quality, which means that it’s only natural for the algorithm to reward businesses that maintain good reputations. Customers don’t want to do business with bad companies and it only makes sense that Google would design the algorithm in the best interest of customers.

Managing Reviews as a Part of Your Local SEO Strategy

For local businesses, reviews are more important than ever and business owners should be working on getting more good reviews over time. This means that they have to look at their overall online reputation strategy when it comes to reviews, instead of just focusing on one review at a time.

Incorporate Rich Snippets Into Your Website’s Code

In addition, every local business should make sure to incorporate rich snippets into their site’s code so that they can benefit from any changes that Google makes to its algorithm that could help local businesses to increase online visibility in the search engine results pages. Google has already introduced the Structured Data Testing Tool, which webmasters can use to test their rich snippet code to ensure that it is correctly configured. For the best results and to ensure that the rich snippet content is displayed, they should also make sure to follow Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines and Structured Data Policies.

Do you need help with local SEO? For local businesses local SEO is crucial to managing your online reputation and keeping up with Google’s latest algorithmic changes. If you would like to request an audit of your current SEO strategy or a quote for local SEO services, contact Brian Hong today for your free review.


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