Local Search VS Organic Search

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Local search refers to all the maneuvers carried out by search engines to offer, based on the user’s intentions, results corresponding to a nearby geographical area. In other words, the results proposed by search engines are, depending on the case, proximity results adapted to your geographical location. To be more precise, these are results proposed based on the location to which your IP address refers, or rather that of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Local search is just a slight nuance of classic organic search. To understand Local search, you must have a fairly clear and precise idea of the classic functioning of search engines. Indeed, organic search and local search differ very little. Identical in every way, only a certain number of elements considered by the algorithms for selecting, ranking, and displaying results are different.

For now, it is essential for a good understanding of what follows that you have some basic notions in mind.

Organic SEO

This technique aims to increase a company’s ranking on search engine results pages to generate targeted traffic to their website. To do this, particular attention must be paid to the structure of a website and creating content that intrinsically matches the user’s search. Since trust and relevance are always decisive factors for the online user experience, internal and external links remain critical factors to consider when addressing organic SEO. Methods such as keyword strengthening, backlinking, and high-quality content writing can all improve a site’s ranking on search engines.

The benefits of Organic SEO are:

1. Generate more targeted traffic to your website

2. Rank inquiries that bring potential customers whose needs match your company’s offer

3. Make users more receptive to your sales pitch because they found you on their own

4. Position your company as an industry thought leader

5. Be cheaper and often more effective than a paid search like Google AdWords

The principle of Organic Search in brief

For most users, a Google search consists of entering a few keywords in the search engine’s search bar and displaying results sometimes distributed over several pages. This is only the visible part of an even more complex processing procedure.

The dissemination of search results is the stage that interests us in the subject we are studying. The display of search results is a process punctuated by many elements. It is only the image of great underlying machinery made of continuous exploration and indexing.

When a query is entered in the search bar, the search engine’s robots identify the web pages in the index that correspond to the user’s intention. Then, these crawlers return a classified list of results (web pages) deemed most appropriate and relevant to the user.

At Google, the relevance of a page and its content is determined by an algorithm whose internal functioning is based on hundreds of factors that continue to be improved. Rather than trying to guess its specificities to design a website accordingly, Google strongly advises operators to scrupulously follow its instructions and best practices. Among the factors modulating Google search in general, the quality of the user experience is one of the main criteria in force at Google. The search giant partly relies on this criterion to include or exclude a page in its SERPs and to determine its ranking.

The simple difference is that for local search, the results presented in the SERPs come from the index of Google’s websites, but above all from the listings of Google My Business.

Local SEO

This is the process by which companies optimize the online visibility of their establishments for local searches. It is mainly used by companies that have physical points of sale and want to reach consumers in their catchment area. Local search results are influenced by queries that include a geographic component, such as “restaurants near me” or “clothing store open now.” Basic Google searches such as “cafes” or “restaurants” will also include three immediate local commercial results in that area (also known as the “local 3-Pack”).

How does Google recognize Local Search?

When the user enters a query in the search bar, Google determines the “local” character of this search in two different ways.

Either the query indicates in its formulation that it is local thanks to words and expressions such as:

– “nearby”;

– “close to me”;

– the name of a street, neighborhood, or city;

Because your internet service provider’s server is not necessarily located around the corner from your home, it is sometimes preferable to refine your search query by specifying the precise location of the search to Google.

In the second case, the search engine considers, based on the query, that the user’s primary intention is to find a service locally. This functionality is only activated for certain queries, for example:

– “market”;

– “mechanic”;

– “hairdresser”;

– many other services.

In this case, Google will use the location of the web user to update their position and automatically isolate corresponding geolocated results.

It should be noted that Google’s search results are now personalized based on the user’s location.

The benefits of Local SEO are:

1. Allows you to connect your business with “ready-to-buy” customers looking for products or services your business offers, where you offer them.

2. Increases in-store foot traffic.

3. Local searches are more likely to result in a purchase than organic searches.

4. Reinforces local online visibility through a multitude of profiles, citations, and links.

5. Increases credibility through customer reviews.

6. Local search results appear above organic search results.

7. Cheaper and can be more effective than paid search.


The difference between these two types of SEO is the user’s intention. Search engines select sites with the most relevant and engaging content for each search. The intention of these queries isn’t necessarily local, although it can be. Search engines then select nearby locations that have the most relevant and accurate business information for that query.

Local and organic SEO are the two pillars of a successful digital strategy. To broaden your reach and reach more users on more devices, consider deploying a local SEO strategy in addition to your organic SEO strategy. Having a strategy for both local and organic optimization is the best way to generate online and offline traffic. These two forms of SEO will help you generate traffic to your website and commercial establishments, but having a strategy for both means you will optimize more precisely and efficiently.

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