SEOs have been noticing when conducting searches for local places that modifiers like “best” and “cheapest” are being taken into consideration, and the results are being ranked accordingly.
This was first reported on by Mike Blumenthal, who observed the new rankings when conducting searches for local restaurants. He surmised that searches for “Best” returned only 4-star listings, while searches for “cheap” returned listings with only one dollar sign.
I was unable to recreate the same results as Blumenthal when testing these search modifiers; which is frequently the case when comparing searches in Canada versus USA. A commenter also confirms in Blumenthal’s post that Google doesn’t yet seem to be responding to these modifiers in Canadian search results.
Google has excelled at delivering quality “near me” search results for some time now, but this may be the first time the search giant has been seen ranking local pack results based on “best” and “cheapest”.
If you live in the USA, can you please comment below with whether or not you’re seeing Google use these modifiers when ranking local pack results? In the meantime I have reached out to Google for more information about these developments.