Local business listings (on Google it is called Places for Business) allow businesses to have a presence which stands out from the rest of the organic results. This distinction is based on many factors that Google takes into consideration (e.g., if the search term indicates an intention by the searcher to find a local business).
The Local Business listings not only includes a link connecting to the homepage of the business, but it also makes information accessible to search engines, such as user ratings, business location, categories of business, etc.
There are many factors that Google takes into consideration, most of which are not publically known, when assigning rankings to local results. One such factor is the rating that a business or business location has received from Google users naturally the better the reviews, the better the rankings (generally).
Google (and other search engines to a certain extent) utilize other signals such as local citations, and proximity to the city center when it comes to local rankings. One way to further help rankings is to have positive reviews and star ratings from clients who rank the company on Google. Google also considers rating from other sites such as Yelp, which also increases ranking.
In order for a company’s site to be included in Google News searches, they must apply by submitting their site for consideration. Google has a list of guidelines suggested for companies to review before submitting their website for inclusion.
Websites are accepted based on the content of their news reporting, the frequency and authority with which they publish articles, and the number of posts and users, etc. In addition, there are technical guidelines that reflect whether or not the site is user-friendly, and whether Google’s computer algorithms can crawl the site. To learn more, please visit the Google News inclusion requirements.