Importance of Ranking on Google Maps

I was asked yesterday how important ranking is within the Google 10-Pack, assuming you’re listed on the first page. I’d like to share my thoughts here.

Google has not published any statistics on the difference that one’s placement in the local rankings makes, but this is not surprising with a beta service. Local listings are one of the primary battlegrounds between Google, Yahoo, and Bing and they’re all keeping their data very close to the vest.

Still, there’s definitely an analog to traditional rankings. The higher up you are, the more traffic your bound to get, all else equal.

The analog is not perfect, however, as local and organic don’t lay out in the same way on the page. For instance, the tenth organic listing is at the very bottom of the page (e.g. below the fold), while the tenth local listing is still at the top of the page.

In addition, the presence of review data on listings can certainly skew the CTR to be different than the ordering might suggest. A listing with a top ranking but low average reviews might not get the clicks it would otherwise receive.

None the less, being first in the local listings is certainly much better than being tenth.