September 4, 2017

Glossary of Local Search Industry Terms

This is an alphabetical list of terms used extensively in the local search industry.

Apple Connect: Apple’s current local business listing product.

Apple Maps: Apple’s mapping application used on mobiles.

Bing Places for Business: Bing’s current local business listing product.

Bricks ‘n’ Clicks: A reference to a businesses offline (bricks) and online (clicks) presence. An amended version of bricks ‘n’ mortar which refers solely to the offline component of the business.

Bricks ‘n’ Mortar: In simplest terms, a bricks ‘n’ mortar business is one that has a physical location. Examples include hotels, restaurants, and banks (also called brick ‘n’ mortar).

Bulk Upload Spreadsheet: An excel spreadsheet containing all of a businesses locations that is uploaded to Google My Business in a single bulk lot, for faster addition and management.

Categories: The classifications used to sort and list businesses who have similar operations. Assists in defining a businesses primary modes of operation.

Citation: An online mention or reference of a businesses name. Usually includes phone number and/or address. See also – Structured Citations; Unstructured Citations.

Click-to-Call: A button or clickable-text on a website that once clicked will initiate a call (either VOIP or mobile) to the phone number listed on the website.

Consistency: One of the main local ranking factors, that usually refers to the citation consistency of a businesses NAP across the web. The greater the consistency of the NAP across citations, the stronger the trust signal that is sent to Google.

DBA: An acronym that refers to a businesses Doing Business As name. Is usually an informal variation of the official registered name (i.e. without pty, ltd, llc extensions). The DBA name is generally the name used for citations.

Directions: An option in mapping applications that allows the user to find directions from their current location (or a location of their choosing) to their intended destination. Options for travel include public transport, driving, and pedestrian.

Duplicate Listing: This can occur on a citation or at Google My Business when a business location has 2 or more listings appear for that location. A common symptom is an inconsistent NAP appearing in citations for the location.

Facebook Places: Facebook’s current local business listing product.

Game of Local SEO: A satirical take on Local SEO using the Game of Thrones environment. Substitutes Local SEO themes into characters and situations within the fictional world of Westeros. (see: Game of Local SEO Infographic)

Geo Location Data: Also known as Geolocation, is the identification of the real-world geographic location related to a positioning system such as GPS. This is shown as latitude and longitude data which is used to give a location a higher accuracy than a single business street address. Geo data can be used in Local Business Schema through

Google Earth: This tool is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program. displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earth’s surface, allowing users to see things like cities and houses at a birds eye view.

Google+ Local: A former product for local businesses. See Google My Business

Google MapMaker: An application that allows users to enhance Google Maps by adding and editing information that is available to the public. In local SEO MapMaker may be used as a method of troubleshooting and resolving data issues

Google Maps: Google’s mapping application used on desktops and mobiles.

Google My Business: Google’s current local business listing product. Formerly known as Google+ Local and Google Places. See more – (See: Google My Business)

Google Pigeon: The unofficial name for Google’s local algorithm. Named so because it is a local update and “pigeons tend to fly back home” (source: SEL).

Google Places: A former product for local businesses. See Google My Business.

Hijacked Listings: A phenomenon that occurred in early 2014 when thousands of hotel listings were hijacked on Google+ Local and had the links to their offical websites replaced with links that lead to 3rd party online booking services (source: SEL).

KML Format: A file format which displays geo data. Many products use this including Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Maps for mobile, NASA WorldWind, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, Adobe PhotoShop, AutoCAD, and Yahoo! Pipes.

Knowledge Graph: Data from Google that enhances a users search result within an individual search engine user search. Enhancing this information especially for individual business location is important for users.

Local Ecosystem: The components that make up the local search space for a particular region or country, and how those elements all relate to one another. Also acts as a gauge for the most powerful to the least powerful entities within the local space.

Local Landing Page: See Location Landing Page

Location Landing page: A page dedicated to a particular location of a business. The page will include location specific information such as opening hours, NAP, menus, store photos, people/bios, and a description of the business.

Local Map Pack: Also called Local Pack is another name for the 7-pack and the 3-pack.

Local Search Ranking Factors: The factors that will determine how well your website competes for ranking in the local search space on Google. These factors, devised by David Mihm, have input from many SEO industry leaders and are widely regarded (source: Moz)

Masterlist: A structured and up-to-date list of a businesses locations that also contains all corresponding data including NAP, opening hours, descriptions, categories. For businesses with many locations (100-1000+) it becomes an important monitoring tool to keep citations up-to-date and to maintain data accuracy. General formats including excel spreadsheets (offline), and google drive docs (online). It is generally wise to have only one version of the masterlist, as this ensures that data integrity is maintained.

Moz: One of the webs most authoritative marketing agencies. (formerly SEOMoz)

Moz Local: The local listing product of marketing agency Moz.

NAP: An industry acronym that refers to the Name, Address, and Phone number of a business.

Consistently: An Australian Local SEO agency, utilising the NAP acronym as a portmanteau with the word fantastic to form the brand name.

Negative Reviews: Reviews of a business that paint the products, service and business in a negative light. A bad user experience.

OTA: An ancronym for Online Travel Agent. In the travel industry these entities typically aggregate booking and accommodation information from multiple hotel and hospitality offerings, which therefore makes them prevalent in local searches. Examples include Expedia, Wotif and Stayz.

Positive Reviews: Reviews of a business that paint the products, service and business in a positive light. A good user experience.

Proximity: The nearness of a business to the defined suburb or locale which it claims to exist within.

Rich Information: The additional information beyond a businesses NAP, that can be included on a business listing. Such as opening hours, hi-res photos, staff bios, descriptions and menus.

Rich Snippet: Additional rich information aligned to a business, product or service that adds value to the users search experience – restaurant/hotel ratings, business location, business phone number, are all examples of rich snippets.

Schema: Markup coding that applies structured data to your website to allow search engines to identify the exact purpose of particular elements of your website (see:

SoLoMo: A portmanteau of Social, Local, and Mobile that identifies the strong influence/relationship that exists between each of these entities in search.

Structured Citation: A mention of a business name, address and phone number in a structured business listing format. Usually found in business directories.

Unstructured Citation: An informal mention of a business name that may also include phone and address but generally not in a close proximity. Usually found in blogs, news sites, articles.

Whitespark: An online marketing company based in Alberta, Canada focusing on local SEO tools and managed services.

3-pack: The inline map listings (post pigeon) in Google SERPs that are labelled A through to C, and which also contain review rich snippets and location data.

7-pack: The inline map listings in Google SERPs that are labelled A through to G, and which also contain review rich snippets and location data.