Segmentation and SEO

Google pays attention and remembers a great deal about our online and search activity.  They then use that information to help return ever more relevant and interesting search results.  Consequently, the search results your neighbor gets may differ from what you see based on the same search query.  Why is that?

Segmentation is part of the reason.

Local search results are the most obvious segmentation.  If I am in Colorado Springs, my search results for a restaurant or a tire store will differ from a list you would see in say Nashville.  That is because Google knows that people looking for restaurants or tire stores are most likely looking for options in their own town, rather than across the country.  This is why it is so important to optimize your website for local search.  Make sure your address, hours and any other local information are fully optimized.

Interestingly timing can also impact your search results.  For example, you may get a list of lunch restaurants at the top of your search results page for the term restaurants if you search at noon.  The same goes for seasonality.  If you search on tire stores in winter, you may have information on snow tires pop up on the top of the search results page.

Google watches your online activity and uses that as well.  Say for example, you were just searching on wedding planners and then you did your search on restaurants, it is likely you will see options for restaurants that cater weddings.  And social media contacts work the same way.  If someone in your circles that you follow +1s an article about buying tires and then you search for tire stores.  It is likely that same article will show up on your search results.

Take advantage of this type of segmentation to help boost your search results ranking.  Call out anything that makes your business unique or different.  Make sure your address and hours are prominently featured on your website.  Call attention to any seasonality in your content, and be an active member of the social media world.