There is an important distinction between Google.com and Google.ca when trying to plan your online search engine efforts. Of course, ideally it would be great to get high placement for your site and keywords on Google.com but realistically why would you put a lot of money and effort into it?
As it turns out, Google.ca was used for around 65% of Canadian searches followed by Google.com at 13%. This is partly due to Canadian visitors to Google.com automatically being sent to Google.ca for their search and also due to people trying to get more relevant local results. Google Places, among other tools, have been moving us to more local search results and when you add in review sites like Yelp.ca it is getting a lot easier for people to find things where they can use them.
So if you are a local business, what does this mean to you and your marketing efforts? Well, it means you should make sure that you are set up properly on Google Places, that your web site clearly indicates where you are located and that you should be putting some of your seo resources into localized online advertising and local link building. Also, if you have a loyal client base, you should ask them to rate you on local review sites.
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