centroid

 In

A concept in the local search industry used to define a central point of geography or activity. Understanding of the centroid has evolved significantly over the years as Google’s weighting of specific ranking factors has changed. The centroid was initially defined as the geographic center of a city, with ranking benefits being perceived for businesses physically located near that point on the map. The concept of the centroid then broadened to include the concept of “industry centroids” as a ranking factor, as it was perceived that there could be one centroid located in a city’s auto dealer row and another centroid in an area hosting multiple medical centers. At present, the most common understanding of the centroid is that it has been transformed into a descriptor of human users. Wherever a user is physically located at the time they search for something local, Google’s results will be customized to display the businesses nearest to the user’s device. This may be referred to as “proximity to the point of search” or the “user-as-centroid phenomenon”.

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