Important information on “Local SEO” vs. “Organic SEO” and how it applies to web marketing for addiction treatment, sober living, drug rehabs, etc.


The world of web marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), social media and so forth has dramatically changed since the days of “You’ve got mail” (the days when AOL was the almighty of the web). Even PPC (pay-per-click) has changed dramatically, especially given the fact that as of mid to late 2017 Google no longer allows PPC ads for addiction treatment centers and related mental health recovery services.

The information on this page applies strictly to Google and not to Bing or Yahoo, and the reason is because their search results algorithms are very different from one another. Whereas Google displays search results based predominantly on a website’s quality, content, security and overall web presence, Bing and Yahoo tend to place greater emphasis on aging, essentially how long the website has been online. Fortunately, it is estimated that about 60 to 70 percent of searches worldwide are done using Google, so newer treatment centers, sober livings and other recovery based facilities and services are able to avert the whole aging factor employed by Bing and Yahoo.

To quickly clarify the terms, “local” search refers to the listing results associated with the map and the red virtual push pins, and “organic” search refers to the listing results shown in the center of the page that do not have the little box that says the word “Ad” inside in green text.

These days it has gotten to the point that being among the top 3 local (Google Maps) listings on organic search is top quality real estate, and given the enormously competitive nature of web marketing for the addiction and mental health treatment industries, it’s more important now than ever to place great focus on local search optimization efforts. In fact, it has become very common to see drug rehab centers (and sometimes sober living homes as well) across the country having a high number of verified addresses on Google Maps, even though most of them are fake locations, such as po boxes with street addresses, private residences and so on.

Ultimately, one is not instead of the other. It doesn’t matter if you’re an addiction treatment center, sober living residence, private therapy practice or whatever, both local as well as organic search are extremely important and should be prioritized as such!

In our our next article we will get into more detail as to what exactly the SEO process entails for both approaches. While there are certainly areas of overlap among the two types of web marketing, the primary components are actually unique to each type.




Addiction Web Marketing Pros, LLC is comprised of a group of web marketing professionals that have seen and experienced all sides of substance abuse issues, from active addiction to medical detox to treatment, sober living, aftercare and so on. For more information please feel free to contact our staff 7 days a week at (800) 894-1735 or (954) 598-1430 or by email at