Someone from Google with a camera and (very) rudimentary knowledge of using transitional cuts from close-up to far-away for style points put together to explain how Google rankings work for local search. Here in 3 1/2 minutes you can get the basics of how the big G decides how high you should rank within their local results that are represented by their map (which now seems to be floating only some of the time):
Google’s 3 Key Metrics for Ranking Local Search Results
In the video, Jeremy Sussman offers three of Google’s key factors for search rankings:Relevance (including rankings)
- Prominence (how well known you are on the Web)
Be aware – this is just the basics of how they rank local listings. If you’re in a small enough niche and sparsely populated enough location, just verifying your Google Places Page ought to be enough. For the rest of you, though, you’ll need to do more than just hope you’re a good enough match in the three key metrics above. You can’t do anything about distance, but there are a lot of ways to boost relevance and prominence.
Other Google Local Products
Also in there, you’ll get a short commercial pitch (but worth viewing) on Hotpot, Tags, and Boost. Tags are a way for you to advertise within your Google Places listing, while Boost is sort of AdWords for small businesses. Hotpot is their new ratings system, which I would assume will tie into their Google+1, @Google, or whatever they end up calling their latest upcoming launch into social.