Real life user signals in local SEO

The fight in local SEO for the top rankings in google is a top priority for many search engine optimization folks. Most SEOs are therefore working on the standard SEO practices like technical SEO, onpage and offpage SEO.

But I was wondering: what if Google took into account the real life (offline) user signals?

In the SEO world, the user signals are a big part of our work. We’re analyzing them, and most of us think that Google takes these signals and uses them for the ranking of the websites.

Just recently, news came out that these (onpage) user signals are not relevant for the ranking of a website or page. One might believe this. Or not.

But what about the offline user signals? Or one might call them „real life user signals„. 

What are real life user signals?

Imagine this scenario. Our android user Steve is in a city he doesn’t know well,  and is looking for a nice restaurant. He’s doing a search on Google for restaurants, and the search engine spits out its local pack along with reviews and ratings. 

Three of these restaurants are within a 3 minute walk from Steve’s current position, so he decides to have a look at them. He walk to all three of them, decides to stay at one of them and enjoys his meal.

Now Google knows Steve’s location, right? Google is tracking its user’s locations. Google knows that Steve has been to the three restaurants and that he’s been in one of them for the last hour.

What could that mean to Google? Could it be the same as within the online world? Did he just „bounce“ on two restaurants and maybe „returned to SERPs“ to check out the others? Did the restaurant which he chose to dine in get a superb user signal? Maybe he even gave them a review?

All this is – as far as I know – not part of Google’s algorithms. But I was just wondering whether this might come in the future. It would be a real game changer for the SEO world, as SEO would turn more and more into a real life „make your company better for the customer“ strategy instead of just caring for pagespeed, responsive design and conversion optimization.

Are real life user signals to come in the future?

What do you think? Could this be a thing that would haunt us SEOs in the future?

Tell us in the comments down below.