Category: Author: David Hall
Infinity Dental Web participates each month in an online discussion group moderated by search engine experts. It helps us stay abreast of all the changes in the online world. Sponsored by Search Engine News, we have found it a very valuable resource.
This morning I was listening to the recording of November’s discussion group. One of the participants said that one of their clients went to a conference where a speaker told them to add “near me” on to every search phrase they wanted to rank for. Then they asked, “Does ‘near me’ work in Google searches? Is this a good strategy or an urban myth?”
The panel of experts didn’t have to answer for this participant to get her answer, because they immediately broke out laughing. We got a good chuckle out of the question here at the office, too, when I replayed it for some of our staff who weren’t in on that call. It’s an illustration of the wide variation in expertise that is out there on search engine optimization and the prevalence of urban legend in this field. Some people, even some search professionals, seriously believe that this tactic will work. Curious, I did a search and found a search company in Florida that actually recommends this practice on their website. They have a blog post from September titled, “The Near Me Keyword and the Power It Has for Local Rankings.” In that post they recommend tacking “near me” onto title tags and using it in other meta data in the website. I’m confident they aren’t the only company recommending this.
However, those who are seriously into the study of search engine optimization know that the “near me” query that is becoming increasingly more popular in Google and other search engines triggers a location-based response that delivers results from location data that Google stores on each business. Thinking that you can trick Google by putting that term into the meta data of the web page reflects a profound immaturity in their understanding of general SEO and Local Search in particular.
The bottom line? Beware of those claiming to be search engine experts who really aren’t. How to tell the experts from the pretenders? The best way, in my opinion, is to look at their results. If their sales pitch is filled with jargon that you don’t understand, with claims of insider status with Google, with promises of specific rankings, be very careful. If their sales pitch refers you to case studies and past successes, that’s what you want to hear.