Google: Proximity Not A Relevancy Factor For Local Service Ads

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Google has updated its Local Services Ads help document on ad rankings to remove the line around “proximity to potential customers’ locations” is a ranking factor for those ads. Ginny Marvin, the Google Ads Liaison, said the document was updated but there was no recent or “sudden change to ranking considerations” to LSA rankings or positions.

This change was spotted by Chris Barnard who said on X that based on this help document change, “Proximity no longer a thing in LSAs.” Seems that way but maybe not.

First, here is the before and after screenshot – with the old document on the left and the new document on the right:

Google Local Service Ads Ad Rankings Proximity

Google removed the bold text; “How relevant your business is for the customer’s search, for example, services you provide, your business bio, and your proximity to potential customers’ locations.”

Ginny Marvin from Google said on X that “proximity of a business’ location is often not a key indicator of relevancy.” However, she added that “location is considered” and just because there was a change in the help document, that it is “not an indication of a recent or sudden change to ranking considerations.”

Here is what she posted:

To clarify, LSA ranking has evolved over time as we have learned what works best for consumers and advertisers. We’ve seen that proximity of a business’ location is often not a key indicator of relevancy. For example, the physical location of a home cleaning business matters less to potential customers than whether their home is located within the business’ service area.

The Help Center article was updated earlier this year to more accurately reflect these ranking considerations. As noted in the article, location is considered: “The context of a customer’s search, for example, the service or job a customer is searching for, time of the search, location, and other characteristics. Again, I want to confirm that this was a Help Center update only, and not an indication of a recent or sudden change to ranking considerations.

We also have a policy that requires providers to limit ad serving to locations that they can reasonably serve from their business location.

Here are those posts:

Google also added to this document about messaging response time, saying:

Enabling message and/or booking leads means there are more ways for customers to reach you, which can increase the likelihood of receiving a lead, especially during nights and weekends when you can’t answer the phone, or when consumers want to reach out to you but don’t expect to hear back immediately.

Also, saying “average response time and any other information about your business that may influence user preferences” may lead to higher profile quality.

Forum discussion at X.

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