Skip main navigation

Google My Business: 3 Biggest Ranking Factors

Joshua George explains the 3 biggest ranking factors that Google uses to determine what GMB listing ranks above another.
0.3
<v ->GMB Ranking Factors.</v> There are three main factors that Google take into consideration when ranking a GMB listing. A lot of people get confused and tend to say, “no, there are hundreds of factors that Google look at.” Which is kinda true. However, all of these additional things are categorized and come on the three parent factors. In fact, if you do a bit of digging, you can see that Google not only tell us what these three things are, but it also lists exactly what they are. As you can see from the screenshot below, it tells you exactly how Google determines what GMB ranks above another. Local results are based primarily on the relevance, distance and prominence.
36.6
These factors are combined to help find the best match for our customers search. For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from the location is more likely to have what they’re looking for, than the business that is closer. So, it ranks it higher in local search results. So, this is essentially what Google tells us. How high you rank in the map section, is based on relevance, distance and prominence. So, let’s look at each one in a bit more detail. Relevance. Relevance refers to how well someone searches are matching with a local listing. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches from customers.
76.1
So what Google is saying here is that a listing needs to be relevant to what the person searched for. So, let’s imagine you’re a plumber based in London and someone searched for plumber, London. Google is going to scan your GMB listing and look to see how relevant your listing is, for both of those terms. If your listing is not relevant enough, then Google will not return your listing the users. There are quite a few things you can do to ensure your listing is seen as relevant all of which aren’t going to cover later on in this section of the course. Number two, distance.
107
Distance is calculated by how far each potential business is from the location terms used in a search. If a customer doesn’t specify a location in the search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about the location. So what this means, is that Google will typically return businesses, that are more closer to you than others. If it in Manchester, for example, and search for plumber by itself, then Google will take your location into consideration, even though you didn’t type in Manchester. As a result, Google will return plumbing listings to you that are all based in Manchester. This is quite important to know, as distance is one of the few things we can’t control.
142.4
If you’re based in London, then no matter what you do, if someone types in plumber, Manchester, your listing will not show as you’re simply too far away. It’s good to note as well, that being in the right city doesn’t mean you’re gonna rank in the map sections, as you may not be the closest business, to the person who carried out the search. There simply could be another four plumbing companies that are closer to the person who carried out the search. I’m not saying that if you carry out a search, Google is only gonna return businesses that are the most closest to you, I’m just saying that I’ve seen it more and more frequent these days.
172.2
I’m gonna show you a live example of this in the next video. Number three, prominence. This is probably the biggest one and the one which we have the most control over. If we do this really well, then the distance will have less of an impact on our GMB listing. Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world and search results try to reflect this in local rankings. For example, famous museums, landmarks, hotels or well known shop brands, that are familiar to many people, are also more likely to be more prominent in local search results.
204.3
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the internet like links, articles, and directories. That is super, super important, that part I just read. Google review count and score are also factored into local search rankings. More reviews and more positive ratings will improve a business’s local rankings. Your position in search results is also a factor. So SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization. This is a lot more straightforward than distance. And essentially what Google are telling us here, is that they like to rank businesses that are more prominent and that are more authoritative in the local search results.
240.4
I’ll show you exactly how we can go out there and build some links and directories for your business, to ensure your business is seen as prominent and I’m gonna cover this in the citation section of the course. In the next video, I’m going to show you how distance can play a massive role in the real world, despite Google telling us that review play an important role in the local rankings. It’s quite an eye opener. I’ll see you there.
In this video, I’m going to explain the 3 biggest ranking factors that Google uses to determine what GMB listing ranks above another.
This article is from the free online

Google My Business: Complete Listing Optimisation Training

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education