Google’s new web indexing system, Caffeine, rocks. I’m not just saying that because I’m tired of that map dominating my search page and my conversations with clients. I’m saying it for those reasons, too, but I’m pretty sure the art and science of Search Engine Optimization was intended to be about a lot more than whether or not you could be one of seven joints that had a paid Merchant Circle account.
Local search is less important because…
…location isn’t all I need to know.
Proximity is important but so much more info is available to me through today’s Web. Has this company been in the news? For what? What are other people saying about it? I really think I shouldn’t have to devise an artful multi-tab strategy to make an educated choice about where to buy auto parts when I’m visiting my mom. Just feed me the info I need, dammit, so I can replace this part before she finds out I broke it.
…local does not equal legitimate.
Know what’s legitimate? Wikipedia. If someone has authored a Wikipedia entry about you, you either exist or you really did at some form at some time. If there’s news about you, I care what it says.
…proximity is a secondary concern.
At present, Google seems to think I first ask, “What’s close?” and then worry about other, lesser concerns such as, “Will this place rip me off?” “Have they been busted for employing illegal aliens?” “Do they have Internet-based assets used for interacting with customers?” and so forth. In truth, I might drive farther to do business with a place that demonstrates a consistent record of customer and community service. If the restaurant got shut down last month by the health department, I’m not going to it even if it’s just downstairs.
What do you think SEO should be?
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