Constant Search Algorithm Changes Make Local Listings Management More Important Now Than Ever

Paid search, search engine optimization and local listings management are important components of search engine marketing, as they all help a business’s visibility on the SERPs (search engine results pages).


Having a proper SEO strategy for your website not only impacts your organic listings on the SERPs but can impact the map pack and knowledge graph as well. Traditionally, paid search ads have shown up at the very top of the SERP, followed by the map pack and/or the knowledge graph, which is populated by having your company’s Google or Bing Business profile properly set up.


Google Map Pack: Mall in Eden Prairie Google Knowledge Graph: Eden Prairie Center


However, recent algorithm updates are causing paid search results to no longer populate for certain search queries such as landmarks—e.g., “(city) medical center,” “(neighborhood name) shopping center” or even food options like “tacos near me.” Now, search engines are prioritizing map pack results for these types of queries, making local listings management more important than ever. There still are some paid search ads that do show in the map pack, but these are at the discretion of Google and Bing. To make sure your locations are eligible for map ads, your Business Profile must be set up and tied to your ads account.

Let’s dive deeper into how local listings play a crucial role in local search engine optimization (SEO):

Local Visibility

Local listings, such as Google Business Profile and other online directories, help businesses appear in local search results. When people search for products or services in a specific geography, local listings provide relevant information about nearby businesses.

Google Business Profile (GBP) performance

Google often prioritizes businesses with complete and accurate information on Google Business Profile. Optimizing your GBP profile with relevant keywords, business hours, address, and other details can improve your chances of appearing in local search results and on Google Maps. Local listings contribute to the local pack, the set of local businesses that appear prominently on the search engine results page (SERP) when users perform local queries. Being listed in the local pack can significantly increase visibility and traffic to your website and business.

Credibility and Trust

Having consistent and accurate information across various local listing directories build credibility and trust with search engines and potential customers. Inaccurate information or inconsistencies can lead to confusion and negatively impact on your local SEO efforts and customer experience.

Local Citations

Local citations—which are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites—play a role in local SEO. Local listings are a key source of these citations. Search engines use this information to verify the legitimacy and relevance of your business to a specific location.

User Reviews and Ratings

Many local listings directories allow customers to leave business reviews and ratings. Positive reviews can improve your business's reputation and attract more customers, while negative reviews provide an opportunity for you to address issues and demonstrate attentive customer service.

Mobile Searches

With the increasing use of mobile devices, local search has become more prevalent as people search on the go. Local listings help businesses capture the attention of users searching for products or services on their smartphones, particularly those looking for nearby options.


Local SEO is essential for businesses that rely on foot traffic or serve specific geographic areas. Optimizing local listings allows search engines to understand your business's location and relevance to users in a particular region.

Competitive Advantage

Properly optimized local listings can give your business a competitive advantage over others in your area. Many businesses may neglect the importance of local SEO, so optimizing your local presence can help you stand out.


So, there you have it. Local listings are important to SEO because they enhance local visibility, build trust and credibility, contribute to local pack rankings, and help businesses connect with their local audience, ultimately driving more foot traffic and online conversions.

To find out more about how local listings management can help increase the visibility of your business, contact us today.

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For over 20 years, Imaginuity has been combining imaginative thinking and innovative technology to create transformative results for our clients, their customers, and our people. Our services and platforms manage complexity to improve marketing outcomes.