Understanding the Language of Local – Part Two

To further improve your Local Listings vocabulary, here is the second installment of our Glossary of Local Listings Terms.

Listings Submission

The process of a business or a third-party manually inputting local business listings across  multiple local search platforms. Listings submission can be sub-optimal for several reasons: it increases the likelihood of input errors and inconsistencies; it does not link new inputs to current listings in local search platforms for suppression or removal; there is normally no contracted relationship between the submitter and the local search platform, thus the source of the listings may be suspect and the listings may not receive high rankings.

Local Search

The process of online consumers looking to find qualified local businesses by entering unstructured, “top of mind” (key) words, phrases (characterized by “what” the consumer is looking for) and geographic modifiers (e.g. “Chicago, IL”, or “where” the consumer is looking) in online search platforms.

Local Search Platform

An online Web site(s) containing searchable local business information, maps and other localized content.

Local Search Platform Results

The Web pages containing local business listings returned on a local search platform, as the result of “What-and-Where” local search queries performed by online consumers.

Mobile Local Search

The specialized access to and presentation of local search platform business listings and other local content to Smart Phones and other mobile devices.


Name, address and phone number or NAP is the core or anchor information that makes up a basic online business listing’s identity. Creating, distributing and managing consistent NAP information is essential to increasing the number of citations and improving search platform rankings for Local Search business listings.

Organic or Natural Search

Non-paid local search platform results delivering local business listings and Web site links relevant to the keyword query entered by a local search platform user.


Pay Per Click (PPC) is a term for paid or “sponsored” advertising programs on local search platforms and other sites, in which businesses are charged a fee when a searcher clicks on their advertisement.

Paid-Search/Search Platform Marketing

Also known as Pay Per Click (PPC), Paid-Search marketing is when online advertisers bid to have brief text-based “Sponsored Link” ads displayed when a searcher enters a keyword search term. (Furniture makers might bid on the term “couch,” for example.) Advertisers only pay when the searcher clicks on the link in their ads, which are usually above or to the right of local organic search platform results.


Algorithmic “scoring” of Local Search business listings and Web site pages by search platforms, using weighted factors to determine the listing or page’s relevance for presentation to a consumer based on the search term/keyword(s) entered by a search platform user.

Ranking Factors for Local Search

For Local Search business listings, the primary ranking factors include: distance from a pre-determined centerpoint (“Centroid”—determined by a latitudinal and longitudinal geo-code) from where the searcher is located; category searched; accuracy and depth of information and increasingly, the source of the content and the recency of its last update by the source.


This acronym stands for Research Online, Buy Offline—when consumers research a product online either from their computer or mobile device and then go to a brick-and-mortar location to actually purchase the item they were researching.


Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that promote Web sites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of search engine optimization (SEO), paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion.


Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the volume of traffic to a Web site by making it more visible to search platforms for keyword queries relevant to what the site’s content contains. SEO is often measured by the increase in number of site visitors via all non-paid forms of search, such as organic, local, universal, social and mobile.


Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the results (organic and paid) that appear after a user enters a keyword search.

Social Search

A search for a person or business that is conducted while in a social program such as Twitter®, Facebook® or Foursquare®.

Comments are closed.