What is a Centroid when it comes to local business listings and Google maps?
Centroid, or central point of relevance, is a central reference point of an area, when used in the context of Local SEO and local listings.
It used to be that the centroid was chosen based on a central location in the city, such as town hall. That type of search was the cause of many local search-ranking variations with businesses closer to the central location having a ranking advantage.
More recently, there’s been a shift towards the physical location of the user. Google looks at the searcher’s location to determine the businesses in the results. This means that hyperlocal locations, streets and neighbourhoods, have become a much more powerful component to your business data.
Today the centroid for Google searches is most heavily based on the location of the searcher.
In the past it was based on the geographic centre of the city. That meant businesses closer to the city centre had a competitive advantage. Then the centroid moved more towards the largest cluster of a business category in an area. Most recently, there’s been a weighting towards the physical location of the user.
Besides your business address being a major factor for when your listing shows in the local pack, there are some controllable factors to make your listing more relevant to the hyperlocal geography.
Tip: If you want to find the centroid of your city, type in the name of your city in the search box and observe where the pushpin shows up on the map. This can be helpful when troubleshooting.