Google announces that proximity will no longer be a factor in local ad rankings

May 17, 2024 Posted by Liam Walsh Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Google announces that proximity will no longer be a factor in local ad rankings”
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Liam Walsh

Liam is a Co-Director at Intelligency and heads up the agency's Digital Intelligence & Paid Social activity. Over the last decade, he has worked with brands from the world of sports such as Premier League clubs to entertainment such as Channel 4 and Disney.

Google has now stated that proximity to a searcher will no longer be the main factor for local ads and local service ad ranking. Other features are instead taking the lead as the predominant feature. 

What has Google now said about this change?

Google has stated that this change is a reflection of their growing understanding of how users search and what they find relevant. They believe there are better indicators to determine how local service ads are ranked.

Google Ads Liaison, Ginny Marvin elaborated on the change by arguing that the LSA rankings had developed over time as the company began to recognise what worked best for consumers and that a business’ location was not necessarily the most influential indicator of relevancy.

In practice this means that the nearest restaurant to a user may not be the most attractive element. Therefore, they are highlighting more intriguing features. This doesn’t mean that proximity is no longer important and ad targeting will still be limited to certain areas as targeting an ad to Halifax, when your business is in Bristol would still be problematic. 

Why is it important for brands and marketers to understand these developments in Local Services Ads ranking?

Google’s update will have a major impact on the nature of how businesses engaged and connect with potential customers. If your company relies upon proximity as a method for creating leads or sales, then you will need to make some amends so that your PPC ads appear in front of the right audience.

Can a business still target areas far from their location with Local Services Ads?

Furthermore, Google Ads prevents businesses from targeting areas that they believe they can’t accurately service. This makes sense when you consider that a cleaning service in Sunderland would be wasting money if it was targeting ads outside the city. This method is a benefit to both the businesses and potential customers.

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