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Local Search Ranking Factors To Help Businesses Improve Discoverability

Every business today is constantly thinking about coming closer to local consumers. Thanks to the digital ecosystem, businesses can find various ways to achieve this. One of the most common ones is of doing digital searches on search engines, through which businesses can appear as ‘Search’ results.

But are businesses thinking about appearing as top-ranking results on Search? Successfully cracking this, becomes the cherry on the cake.

The latest local search ranking factors survey highlights the critical factors that can guide brands and businesses with their digital tactics, to ensure that they appear as top results for the Google local pack as well in the Google organic local outcomes.

All About The Local Search Ranking Factors Survey

Now that we have understood that there are certain factors that can determine a brand’s digital discoverability, let’s look at how this came into existence. The Local Search Ranking Factors Survey was created by David Mihm in 2008. The primary objective of this survey is to provide businesses, agencies, and brands with some guiding principles, to boost their local search performance. However, it’s important to note that the impact of these performance factors may differ on the basis of various yardsticks such as the size of the business, the industry it operates in, the geographical location, and more. Considering the exponential expansion of the web, brands and several others are increasingly finding convenient ways to digitally attract their target audience, and grow engagement and business opportunities

This is a survey conducted mostly on a yearly basis and the results are furnished every 1 to 2 years. Certain search experts are involved in this and they do a study to assess the digital features that influence a business’s position in Google’s map pack and in local organic search results. The respondents rate different parameters that digital marketers leverage, to improve presence, visibility, and engagement for their business, brand, content, and so on.

To evaluate a business’s online visibility, the survey looks at particularly two types of rankings: the local map pack rankings and the local organic rankings. The local map pack ranking pertains to a business’s presence on Google Maps and search results, while the local organic ranking measures how well a local landing page performs in search results for local queries. It’s crucial to monitor these rankings separately because the weights of the different ranking factors can vary significantly and have varying impacts on a business’s visibility.

2023 Survey Results

The 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors survey* conducted by Whitespark is now out, and it offers insightful findings, that can contribute significantly to successful digital activities.

Here are the ranking factors in order of importance, to help businesses plan and execute their digital strategies, for improved online visibility and outcomes.

Local pack factors for Google’s local pack:

– Primary Google Business Profile category
– Keywords in the Google Business Profile title/name (which may be against the Google guidelines)
– Proximity of address to the point of search
– Physical address in the city of search
– Removal of spam listings through spam preventative mechasims
– High numerical Google ratings
– Additional Google Business Profile categories
– Verification in Google Business Profiles

Local organic factors for Google’s local pack:

– Dedicated page for each service
– Internal linking across website
– Quality and authority of inbound links to the domain name
– Geographic keyword relevance of domain content
– Keywords in Google Business Profile landing page title
– Quantity of inbound links to domain from locally relevant domains
– Topical keyword relevance across entire website
– Volume of quality content on service page


It is advisable to go through the survey in detail and gain a deeper understanding of the results. Reading a survey such as this could prompt business owners to consider aspects that they may have previously overlooked. With the digital space evolving at a rapid pace, it is imperative to stay updated and be increasingly aware of the developments, and keep a strong focus on one’s online existence.

*Source: 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors survey conducted by Whitespark and published on Search Engine Land

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