Have you ever wondered how Google Places or Local Search finds your business? The answer might be different than you expect.
To gain a basic understanding of how Google gathers businesses for search results in a given area, we should first define the term “centroid.” A centroid is the center of a geographic region. If you guessed that Google bases local search results on a centroid, you’re totally right. But if you thought that all centroids used for Google search results are city centers (a.k.a. based on zip codes), give it another guess.
Let’s use an example to demonstrate how Google incorporates industry-based centroids.
When we search “Salt Lake City,” the pink box indicates the city limits:
However… when we search “Dentists Salt Lake City,” these are the mapped results:
Notice how the central point of the collection of search results isn’t in the center of the city borders, which suggests that the centroid is based on business type not location.
Essentially, you don’t need to worry about your proximity to downtown. Your practice will be factored into Google search results simply based on your industry.