Appear first on Google Maps and 3-Pack searches

Have you ever wondered what are the criteria that regulate local SEO and how to improve positioning on Google Places? The task can also be arduous, but surely improving the local positioning of a website, especially if it represents a company that operates a lot in the local area, can be an excellent strategy in terms of web marketing on par with global positioning.

In this regard, however, it is necessary to make a clarification, increasingly Google is implementing geolocation in the production of search results, which means that without realizing it Google creates different SERPs depending on the location in which we perform the search and how do I know if a SERP bases its results on geolocation?


How to know if a SERP is geolocation-based

Let’s start with the assumption that generally finding Places results gives us a good indication, their presence is in fact an indication that we are facing a geolocated SERP. But how to verify?

The method is quite simple, after entering your search query in Google, you will have to do is click on the wheel at the top left of the SERP page, click on Search Settings>Position, and enter the location that is of interest to you to monitor.

Now we evaluate the results and how much they change from one location to another: if we do not notice large variations in the SERP, it means that geolocation does not particularly affect the search results, if instead, we find completely distorted results, we have discovered the mystery. Let’s analyze the SERP in detail in order to understand it to its full extent.

In this case, the first results in the SERP are those of Google Places, as we can see in the image above (click on the screen to see the full SERP). The later results are organic and also, like the Places results, differ depending on the location from which we conducted the research. This does not mean that they are completely different, generally based on the SERP.


Placement in locations, how it works

Often, after entering a query on Google, especially if it is composed of a keyword + a location (for example, a restaurant in Trento) we find ourselves in front of a results page containing inside it the 3-Pack of places or results in Google Maps tabs ranging from the letter “A” (most relevant result) to “G” (less relevant).

The results in Google Places are strongly geolocated, in general, Google tends to give preference to those that are placed in the so-called “geographic boundary” or as defined in web marketing in the “centroid” bias. Put in simpler terms, Google will give more weight to all results that are in the downtown area and in barycentric positions.

Centrality is essential for good positioning

The thing may seem trivial, but the first rule is therefore to have an activity in the center or at least not too much in the suburbs, the more our activity will be at the epicenter of the place where you want to position yourself, the more you will take advantage of it on Google Places.

Analysis of local competitors

In addition, local cards get a higher ranking through backlinks, a fundamental requirement, however, is that the reference to the NAP call (name, address, phone number) is extremely accurate and identical to that reported on the place sheet and website.

Check your competitors and take a look at how many sources are mentioning your activity. The more sources there are and the more authoritative they are, the harder our opponents will be to beat.

Construction of local links

Once you have discovered your opponents’ weapons, all you have to do is arm yourself with your scimitar and strike.

First create your Places tab if you haven’t already done so and enter your data exactly as it is displayed on their website, including commas if there are any. We try to follow some criteria for your on-page optimization, in particular, we avoid the reckless use of keywords in the title where we will limit ourselves to inserting the brand and location of the company, we may insert some keywords in the description of the activity, but without overdoing it.

The important thing is to make reference to all these geolocalized directories and portals, register your activity in all these portals carefully inserting their NAP as shown on your website and in the Places tab. Getting good links translates into getting a good ranking because this is something that Google values above many other things in its system.


The second important thing you should do is to connect the Google+ Local card to the Places card, by doing so you will be able to transmit all the reviews received on your card, increasing the ranking considerably.

In the case of accommodation facilities, registration on various tourist portals is of great importance, such as TripAdvisor,, etc. Also, the user reviews received on these portals have a great weight in the ranking of the card.

Positioning in search engines is tremendously important, it certainly requires a lot of additional work, but we must not forget that such a strategy could be extremely profitable as expensive social media campaigns or organic positioning.

So the most advisable is to consult with a professional in the field in order to achieve the expected results.