Monday, March 24, 2014

Google Search and local resources

Much of my business is selling online to homeschoolers and the number one term in our market is "homeschool". I've noticed something really interesting this past week.

When I search on Google from an account which I'm NOT logged into, I now find that 3/10 of the results on the front page are locally relevant.  Now here's the interesting part.

When I search from home (we use Comcast), Google provides three results which are specific to the state of Florida.  Local means the state level. For example:

Florida School Choice | Home Education
https://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/home_education/


When I search from the office (NO idea who our ISP  is), Google provides three results which are specific to my municipality.  Local means very tight, like my part of the county or my part of Fort Lauderdale. For example:

www.homeschool-life.com/fl/pompano/


Anybody else notice a correlation between the ISP and granularity of the local search results?
Do you think that it's a question of my ISP or just how my computer is cookied?
I suppose I should also compare browsers (I did both of these on Firefox which I only use for such tests) and how it works on my mobile devices.

BTW, here are several pages of info on homeschoolers and their curriculum:

2 comments:

Ilan Berkner said...

John,

Your post on the subject of location was interesting so I figured I'd try it on my browser, while logged into my Google account.

The search results for the term "homeschool" were also localized for me. As a side note, at the bottom of the search results, one of your Google+ comments about homeschooling showed up. Digging further into the question of how Google determines your location, I found this helpful settings article from Google:

https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/179386?hl=en

which at least gives you an idea of exactly what Google thinks your location is (you must do a search first to get the tabs) - and allows you to change it.

As to how Google determines your location, most likely by IP address first and foremost, as provided by your Internet provider, if that's not available, probably cookies and other data points.


Lisa Anderson said...

nice very informative blog.thanks.

Affordable Search Engine Optimization