Google rose to prominence by demonstrating a competence in discerning user intent and providing relevant search results. But this statement by Brian, a Google employee, on Google’s support forum is a bit confusing:
Today, we’re intentionally showing less local results for web design / SEO queries. For example, [web design sacramento] doesn’t display local listings today. We believe this is an accurate representation of user intent. In some cases, we do show local listings, however (as NSNA/php-er noted) [web design in bellingham]. I’m sure some of you feel we should be displaying local results for queries like [Web Design Vancouver]. I understand that concern, but based on our understanding of our users, we feel this is the right decision for now.
I have the same problem with this as Mike Blumenthal. But be sure to read the comment by David Mihm on Mike’s blog. He may have a point.
But here’s my question: At what point does spam become an issue in those other markets where web design, seo and advertising with a geo tag doesn’t pose a local search problem for Google? My guess is that will tilt against local SEOs favor as more SEOs become more savvy in Hong Kong and Mexico (and, BTW, why aren’t they that savvy in Hong Kong now?).
Is it too much to ask Google just to be forthright with the search engine optimziation community? And, furthermore, can’t Google apply more spam filters to local search results? This is something they’ve gotten good at; maybe that’s what are working on?