SEO Fight Club – Episode 161 – Do Review Affect Local SEO

SEO Fight Club / By 

“Find The Right Fit: Understanding The Difference Between Lead Gen & Managed SEO”

-Today I’m taking part in SEO Fight Club, a show created by our very own Witcher.

-We’re discussing the differences between lead generation companies and managed SEO agencies

– they are not always the same thing.

-I personally hate clients who ask for all of their needs to be addressed with only one service option, such as SEO.

-Often, businesses don’t recognize that many issues have nothing to do with search engine optimization but still end up being assigned to an SEO expert!

-This Thursday at 8am CST I’ll be hosting a training session about recognising when pages have been indexed correctly

– so make sure to tune in then!

-You can find my podcast “Confessions of an SEP” wherever you stream podcasts or just Google it.


Unlock The Google Algorithm With Proven Strategies At The Local Ranking Boot Camp

– I am offering a live eight week training class on uncovering how the Google algorithm works, with tested data not available anywhere else.

– The next class starts August 3rd and although there is a nominal fee for it, I do understand if that’s too much for some people.

– Terry Power and I are also hosting a one day Local Ranking Boot Camp in Greensboro North Carolina on July 30th.

– This boot camp will be hands-on learning with practical ways to rank locally that yield results quickly after attending.

– Additionally, preparation work needs to be done before arriving at the boot camp so participants can start seeing ranking changes as early as Monday when they get back home.

– As we move into our topic today of whether reviews matter for local rankings, it’s important to analyze any data properly or else conclusions can be drawn incorrectly from what look like correlations or aggregate studies.


“Making Better Decisions Through Statistics”

– I agree that it is difficult to definitively prove something, however statistics are useful for making better educated guesses.

– You can reduce 2100 potential solutions down to 2 or 3 dozen likely suspects which then gives you better success rates and more informed decisions.

– It’s about having strong evidence to support your actions, not absolute certainty.

– When analyzing data it is important to consider what else might be impacting the analysis and how bias from the analyst may be skewing results.

– Reviews have been shown time and time again to have an impact on conversions both online and offline as well as overall ranking factors in Local SEO rankings


“The Impact Of Reviews On Local Rankings – A Statistical Analysis”

– I wanted to see if reviews have an impact on local rankings, so I gathered data from 8 popular broad niches and 40 of the most populated US cities.

– The data included 7000 points, but there was a disparity among the top and bottom niches; for example, lawyers outnumbered pizza places 3:-

– After analyzing this data set, review packs had a correlation with rankings that accounted for 0.015

– significantly lower than what would be considered statistically significant at 0.02-

– Based on this analysis we can conclude that reviews are not currently a ranking factor in local results.


“Reviews Rank High: Proving The Correlation Across Niches”

• I was surprised to find that the global correlation needed to be further than 0.028 from zero in order for it to be statistically significant, but only halfway there.

• Research shows that reviews have a clear bearing on ranking algorithms and can make or break success of businesses online.

• I decided to dive deeper into each niche by looking at the top 20 rankings and pull average review counts per position.

• This showed correlations were incredibly strong between reviews and rankings, even in cities with fewer listings such as Providence (19 roofers).

• Furthermore, when looking down into details like Austin dentists these correlations still held up strongly across different niches and cities.


“The Effects Of Ratings On Google’s SERP”

– I examined a data set of 113 records and 335 keyword combinations to analyze the correlation between total reviews and rankings.

– There is a statistically valid correlation between the two variables with a score of 0.396.

– However, other factors such as size of business or differences in search terms (e.g., “best” versus “nearest”) could shape the results by influencing both reviews and ranking positions.

– To correct for potential outliers skewing the average, I looked at rank position instead of raw numbers; this showed there were generally more reviews linked to higher ranked page results across different types of businesses such as plumbers or dentists.

– Although difficult to definitively answer without further data, it appears that ratings may be acting as a ranking factor on Google’s SERP.

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