Now that local search has taken an even bigger area of search results in Google, strong local search marketing profiles and reviews matter more than ever. Because it’s not just the reviews on Google itself that count, but those from other major local search directories and popular review sites as well.

First, let’s take a look at the search results in my hometown for Italian restaurant. If you were looking for something in the neighborhood, think about which restaurant you would choose to go based on what you see below.

Google Local Search Results

Although well known chains like Olive Garden and Carrabba’s come up at the top of the results, local restaurants take up more real estate with their number of reviews, overall stars, address, phone numbers, and even a snippet of a recent review.

So which sites’ reviews are pulled in by Google Places for local business profiles?

First, there are the top local search directories including, but not limited to:

Google Local Search Reviews from Around the Web

Then there are more industry specific review sites including, but again not limited to:

And finally, there are the local news sites’ own reviews. For example, Google Places will show AZ Central reviews with Phoenix business listings.

So needless to say, your reviews all over the web count now more than ever. And since Google Places link directly to your profile on these local search and review sites, not only do your reviews count, but your profiles do as well. Be sure to check out your own Google Places listing, and start monitoring your reviews all around the web as well as claim your profiles!

Your Thoughts on Local Search

What are you doing to help your business or your clients get better rankings, ratings, and reviews when it comes to local search?