The Local Search Ranking Factors annual report was developed by David Mihm in 2008 and taken over by Darren Shaw in 2017. This report is the industry’s go-to resource for understanding how to rank in Google’s local search results.
Welcome to the 2021 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey results! Each year, I survey the top experts in local search across many topics to determine what’s working to drive rankings and conversions in local SEO, and what’s not.
A huge thank you to Jessie Low for all her excellent work planning, organizing, and helping to prepare this resource.
One quick note before we dive in: Google recently renamed Google My Business to Google Business Profile. When I surveyed the participants, it was GMB, and when I published this resource it was called GBP. So, you may see both names appear throughout this resource and you can just assume they refer to the same thing.
A few things stand out in this chart:
- There has been a steady increase in the perceived importance of reviews. This makes sense.
- There has been a steady decrease in the perceived importance of citations. I personally feel this might be a bit overstated and other research supports that Local Listing Management Matters.
- And most notably, there has been a significant increase in the perceived importance of GMB signals.