Bing Search Results Take The Google Route – Local Listings Now Appear anywhere

Geno Thampi by - 3/3/2012 6021 Views

What does this mean to local SEO?

Google is well known for inspiring (imitating) unique and successful concepts and implement own improved versions of it in their products. Well, some say all Google products are imitations and mashups of some other successful concepts. Now Bing seems to have thought "if Google imitates? Why shouldn't we?" The recent change of the local business listings in the search results is an example for Bing's approach in imitating Google. If you remember, when you search for the local keywords in Bing, the local business listings appeared on top of the general search results as a standard unlike the Google results where the local listings appear anywhere (even at the right column of sponsored ads). Due to this presentation of Bing, local businesses were intensively promoted and optimized in Bing Local so as to dominate the search results. Now, Bing has made a change that would require the local business marketers to change their local SEO strategy. As first noticed and reported to the SEO world by BrightLocal Bing now displays the local listings randomly. This means that any local business that just relies on the local business listing promotion in Bing local for SEO may lose visibility.

Image courtesy of searchengineland

Good or bad?
This is certainly bad news for local businesses relying ONLY on the Bing Local listings for online promotion to get ranked in Bing search. But for local business that has both a well optimized website along with a Bing local listing, this is a boon. The reason is, if your website is well optimized, complying the entire search engine ranking factors the website would be ranked in general search by itself. In addition to that if the business has a fully completed and optimized local business listing, the listing would top the local results too. So no matter if the local listing shows up on the top of search or not, your website will.  There is more good news for local businesses that have both a website and local business listing in Bing - The new addition of expanded local listing results displays the META description of the parent website along with the local business listing information in Bing local.

Change of local listings in the general search results – Are the search engines trying to tell something?

I hear the voice of the search engines. They are trying to say "Local search is different from general web search." However, they cannot show pure websites in the general web search results for local keywords because not every one of us would visit Google maps or Bing maps to search for local stuff. On the other hand it doesn't make sense to display a 5 pack of local listings on top of every local keyword search. So, here comes to solution – a Mashup of local listings and websites in the search results.

As a local business, what your should do to promote it
So, if you are entering into online promotion of your local business, you need to first setup a simple website with following all search engine ranking factors. Once the local business website is up, go ahead and create local business listings in Bing local, Google local and all the top local listing sites of your area. If you have already created local listings in such sites but do not have a dedicated website, create one right away and update your local business listing with the website url. Because for local businesses to dominate the search, a website would become indispensable soon. Building a website for local business is never costly or time consuming to maintain. . I have done a blog post earlier today about promoting a Google local business listing or similar which explains the importance of having a website for your local business.

So if you do not have a website for your local business already, build one right away!

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

local business promotion, local SEO, local business listing

About Geno Thampi

Geno Thampi Not a born Shakespeare! But I still write articles and blogs to share my ideas and thoughts on SEO and SMO. Being a part of SEO research team of SubmitINme, I keep my ears and eyes open, and the pen ready to grab, write and share trending topics in search engine .... more info