In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, David Mihm looks at the evolution of the local algorithm. Originally, it wasn’t any different doing local SEO to any other SEO. Links and title tags were important. In 2006 it changed to a 10 packs of local businesses in the main search results. These were business listings rather than information. This is also when citations and local data were introduced. By 2009 reviews became important for rankings. 2012 saw Google+ information contributing to rankings, where you could see the author’s information. Into the future, it looks like offline signals will begin to play a role.
Keep in mind that through this evolution, the factors that precede the current ones do not become defunct. This is why linking and title tags are still important for local listings today.