Last month both Google and Overture released beta test versions of their geographic search solutions. Overture is currently testing localized search on its newly acquired property, AltaVista. (snip)
Google's Search by Location reveals tidbits of how it generates its results, which include site content with zip codes, town names, and addresses. Notice the second listing on the above search result page is for a bed & breakfast. It "made the cut" because its site content aligned with the parameters of the search. If you are a local business that would benefit from these kinds of related searches, it seems it would behoove you to include keyword content not just related to your specific business. (snip)
Optimizing Your Site For Local Search
Things may change in how the search engines eventually refine their local search technology (Minstrel comment: "no kidding!"
), but it can't hurt to do a few simple things...and get a jump on your local competition.
1) Add your address in a prominent place on your web pages. Many sites use the very bottom of their pages for their address listings. Address location didn't use to matter. Localized search may change all that, so consider including all or part of your address nearer to the top of your page.
2) Add city and state information to your meta and title tags.
3) Add local information to your site's content... links to, and information on, other businesses and attractions in your town may end up helping to promote your own site.