In this week’s video, I share the details on the recently-released 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors. Basically the bible of Local Search, the 2020 LSRF is the best guide for your Local SEO strategy in 2021. The top minds in Local SEO all contributed, and it breaks down the signals that Google’s local algorithm uses to decide which sites to show at the top of local search results.


Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, I’ve got something really exciting to share – the latest Local Search Ranking Factors study!

For those of you who haven’t heard about it before, the Local Search Ranking Factors study – or LSRF – is an almost annual study that’s meant to help everyone figure out what really moves the needle in Local SEO. It was started way back in 2008 by David Mihm, and then he handed the reins over to Darren Shaw when he left Moz a few years ago.

No one knows how Google’s algorithm works, so a huge survey is sent to the top 35-40 Local SEO experts worldwide – the people who live and breathe local, who really know what works. It’s a pretty extensive survey, asking about map pack factors, organic factors, negative factors, and more. Full disclosure, I’m one of the contributors.

If you don’t wanna listen to me ramble and you just want to check out the LSRF, go to – make sure that’s all in lower case.

The answers are aggregated and scored, so the final result is a list of the most important factors for Local SEO. The LSRF is basically the Local SEO bible – if you’re handling your own SEO, it’s the perfect guide for adjusting your strategy. If you have a vendor handling your SEO, it’s a great way to hold them accountable and ensure that they really know what they’re doing.

The LSRF sums everything up with two pie charts. One shows the signals that matter for showing up in map pack results or in Google Maps searches, and the other shows the breakdown of signals for showing up in localized organic results.

If you’ve followed the LSRF in the past, you’ll notice that social signals have been removed this year. They’ve always been a small slice, but pretty much everyone agrees that social signals have no impact on local search visibility.

The last LSRF was released in 2018, and a few things have really changed since then. GMB signals saw a massive increase. Back in 2015, GMB signals were only 15% of the overall weight of signals. In 2018, GMB signals jumped to 25%. In the 2020 LSRF, GMB signals were 33% of the overall pie.

Reviews and on-page signals became more important, while links and behavioral signals decreased in importance. Citations nearly dropped off the map – they’ve really become almost a non-factor.

The LSRF also shares helpful information about conversion factors – things that don’t really influence rankings, but definitely influence how many customers will contact you.

Again, you can check out the analysis and full LSRF report at

That’s all the time we’ve got for today, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.

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