2018 Local Search Ranking Factors


Local SEO

This year’s Local Search Ranking Factors marks at least one significant change: David Mihm has handed over the data collection, analysis, and publication of the survey results to me, Darren Shaw (official announcement).

Thank you, David, for trusting me with this important industry resource. It is an honor to follow in your footsteps with this, and I hope to live up to the high standards you have set for it year after year.

Local Pack/Finder Ranking Factors

  1. My Business Signals (Proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.) 19%
  2. Link Signals (Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.) 17%
  3. On-Page Signals (Presence of NAP, keywords in titles, domain authority, etc.) 14%
  4. Citation Signals (IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.) 13%
  5. Review Signals (Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) 13%
  6. Behavioral Signals (Click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.) 10%
  7. Personalization  10%
  8. Social Signals (Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, etc.) 4%




Is it called a snack pack, a local pack, a pak, or something else? I’m hoping to help standardize the terminology used across the industry, particularly with the pack types. I can’t think of a better place to define these than on the Local Search Ranking Factors Survey results.

GMB Listing

Google My Business Listing. Your primary listing at Google that is editable in the GMB dashboard and publicly accessible at 3 locations:

  1. Google Search (knowledge panel)
  2. Google Maps
  3. Google+

GMB Landing Page

The page that a GMB listing links to. Usually the homepage or a location page.

Local Pack

The regular local 3-pack that appears for most local search terms.

Local ABC Pack

A local 3-pack with A, B, and C to the left of each result. No review stars, ratings, or counts appear for this type. This pack type is returned for branded terms such as “Starbucks” and, inexplicably, for storage and gas station terms.

Local Snack Pack

This style of local 3-pack appears for dining, hospitality, and entertainment terms. Results have a photo, no phone number, and no links to the website.

Local Sponsored Pack

The special pack type that is currently appearing in San Diego for plumbers and locksmiths. It appears in addition to the regular local pack. There are also these sponsored pack types appearing for home services businesses in the San Francisco area:

Local Finder

The complete list of local results that appears when the “More places” link at the bottom of a local pack is clicked.