Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/08/five-of-the-most-interesting-sem-news-stories-of-the-week-6/

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week we have information on Google opening up even more about its ranking signals, which would be great news IF it was even a search engine anymore.

Google reveals a new ranking signal for local search

As we reported earlier this week when I asked the question How does Google determine my local ranking?, Google has updated its Google My Business help page with an additional pointer to how it ranks your business beyond relevance and distance… prominence.

“Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.

Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.”

Basically, all of the everyday SEO practices that you use to improve your visibility, whether on-page or off, apply to local.

Google isn’t a ‘search engine’ rules the EU

As reported by Rebecca Sentance this week, the EU has defined what a search engine actually is, and it isn’t Google.

The definition is now as follows:

“‘Online search engine’ is a digital service that allows users to perform searches of in principle all websites in a particular language, on the basis of a query on any subject in the form of a keyword, phrase or other input; and returns links in which information related to the requested conten…

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