Last Updated on July 11, 2023
When You Search “Locksmith Near Me” That’s NOT What You Get
When you search for a locksmith near you or any other ‘near you’ search term, you’re likely looking for one of two things. Fast service (a company that can get to you straight away) or cheaper service (a company you can walk into so you don’t have to pay them to come out to you).
There’s been a disturbing trend in Google lately when customers search for “locksmith near me.” Recent Google changes have led to the results returning anything but real local locksmiths! You’ll get locksmiths that price gouge you, locksmiths that aren’t local, listing services using you to generate money, locksmith that are miles away, and “locksmiths” that aren’t even real people! for three reasons:
- Everything you see ‘above the fold’ of a Google search is paid for advertising. They may not be near you at all. Details below.
- Google’s newest algorithm change favors small webpages. In Phoenix, none of the page 1 organic listings returned for search term “Phoenix locksmith near me ” will likely have a lock shop near you. They won’t have a locksmith shop at all. Details below.
- Google Maps is showing thousands of ‘locksmiths’ that aren’t locksmiths at all, but key cutting kiosks. They aren’t even people.
To find a locksmith near you, that has a shop you can walk into, you need to disregard the ads, disregard the organic search results, and find within the Google Map results 1) locksmiths that have a complete address shown and 2) ‘locksmiths’ that are not really just key machine kiosks.
Using Google Maps is the best way. Jump to How to Use Google Maps to Find a Real Locksmith Near You.
Google Ads Do Not Show Locksmiths Near You
I often work from my home in Gilbert, AZ and one of our locks shops is in Gilbert.
To the right are the result I see on the page, before any scrolling, for when I search Gilbert Locksmith. This is what is referred to as ‘above the fold’ because to see below this, I need to scroll.
Notice anything? Everything shown in this screen shot are Ads. Google is a company that makes huge revenue from customers buying ads.
No locksmith shown in the search result is an actual “locksmith near me.” None of them have lock shops in Gilbert. None.
Organic Search Results for “Locksmith Near Me”
Organic search results are the result that originally made Google so famous. There are the results that are NOT paid results.
Google uses a number of factors to determine what to show in their Google organic results and these often change. Sometimes the results get better, sometimes they get worse.
In Google’s last update, they got much worse. We also have a shop in Phoenix, but when I’m sitting in that shop and run a search for a ‘locksmith near me’ only one result is an actual locksmith located near me.
All the other results are small, mobile-only locksmiths that may actually be near me or may be 20 miles across town. There’s no way of knowing.
All of the main locksmiths (the most reputable companies) near my Phoenix lock shop are now shown on page two of the organic search.
Google does a little better when I’m sitting in Gilbert. Of the 10 organic search results, 2 are reputable locksmith companies actually located near me. ACME Locksmith’s Gilbert Shop is 3rd and a good company called Pennington is 10th.
What Google returns the most in their search now are paid for listing sites. Sites that charge locksmiths to list on them in order to be shown on their pages. Angie’s List, Yelp, and other newer ones I’ve never heard of. Google latest update has given this listing sites a big bump in business!
Google now also returns a lot of scammer sites. I wont’ say which ones there are, but I see at least two high ranking sites in this search that are known to be price gouging, bait and switch companies. You can read more about that in our article on Locksmith Fraud.
They rank high for searches like ‘locksmith near me’ because they invest very heavily in SEO. They can afford to because they are basically thieves charging up to 10X what a legitimate company would charge. They pay for backlinks and they pay for reviews, all so that they can rank highly.
While you can find good companies in the organic search results when searching for a locksmith near you, it takes diving into the companies website to see where they are really located and researching on the BBB and other sites to see if they are really reputable. It’s a bit of work.
Using Google Maps is the Easiest Way to Find a Locksmith Near You
Using Google Maps is the best way to find a close by locksmith shop or locksmith, but even this method isn’t as easy at it use to be.
When you do a search for a business, Google will return three listing in a map 3-pack that it thinks are most relevant. Unfortunately, two of these “locksmiths near me” are completely bogus.
The two KeyMe listings are not locksmiths at all. So if you’re looking to walk into a shop and find a locksmith, they can’t help you. They’ve tricked google into thinking that they are locksmith shops by misrepresenting themselves under the locksmith category.
Basically, they’re telling Google that all of their machines a locksmith shops and Google is returning them in almost every search! They do this to get your call and steal business from the real local locksmith that is near you. I have details in the video below.
Learn How Key Machines Trick You to Get Your Call
Key Machines are Not Locksmiths.
Just ignore all the key machine listing unless you are looking for a key machine, but I believe you’ll still find that a local locksmith will cut you a key for less, so use your local locksmith for keys.
It’s not obvious in the 3-pack that the other locksmith shown is indeed a real locksmith shop that can likely get someone to you quickly and not just a mobile service that could be across town from you.
Just a few months ago, Google would show their address so you would know that they had a real location, and they showed mobile only businesses as “serving” your location without an address. That made it very easy to determine who was really close by. Now they just list the city for both mobile and physical shops.
So to determine if they are a real local locksmith you need to click a “see more” link that can be found at the bottom of the 3-pack. This will take you to Google Maps and show ten possible locksmiths near you.
From there just click on each non-key-machine listing shown, and it will open up more details of their business. Those with real locations near you will have an address shown, those without, won’t have an address. See the photo below.
If you want to hire and support local business, and find a local locksmith that is truly close to your location, the best way to do that is to dive down into Google maps, ignore the ads, ignore the machines, and select the locksmith with a physical store near your location.
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