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Google Adds Custom Location To Sidebar

screen capture of google custom location search field on the side navigationI’ve noticed Google giving geo-targeted based results for sometime and I’m sure it is documented further on other blogs out there. But did I miss something when I was out for two days last week? This may not be new to some but today in my google side navigation for search results I discovered the ability to use a “Custom Location” in the Sidebar. For most regular users this may not mean much but for businesses and search marketers this ability allows you the ability to find out how well you are ranking in location specific searches without traveling to that location. I have a number of clients who’s products and services need to be found outside of the Bozeman, Montana area even though they don’t necessarily have a physical location there.

This is both good and bad news for search marketers and business owners. While you may feel you are doing good on certain keyword terms for specific locations, it might merely mean that you are only doing good from your current location. If I want to do well for “web designers” in Bozeman Montana I better have a location in Bozeman. Alas I am actually located in Belgrade so my best bet is usually word of mouth through friends and other socialites.

The good news is now we know for certain that a search for your specific keywords will garner different results in different locations. Google’s addition of this shows their commitment to the location aware as well as giving businesses the ability to find out how they are doing for other locations. The bad news is you may not be doing as well for your keyword terms for the specific areas that you would like to rank higher for. But at least now you know.

How does localized search impact your business? Does this affect how will you spend your marketing budget?