I mentioned a few months ago that using the words “near me” on your website (or even in the name of your business) was unlikely to help improve your search rankings, and now there is some more data to support that.
To be clear, people search for things “near me” all the time, myself included. That’s not a surprise. However, if Google sees the phrase “near me” in a search, they essentially strip it out and do a local search for whatever your other keywords are.
For example, if you search for “sushi near me”, Google will run a local search for “sushi”. Whether or not any of those companies have the words “near me” associated with them is of zero value. Instead, it comes back to a traditional search result based on location, rankings, other keywords, etc.
Chris Silver Smith summed it up nicely in a recent post on the Search Engine Land website:
Google has made it now so that a “near me” query will return the closest matching local businesses for one’s search terms within the Maps/Local listings. To do this, Google clearly extracts the “near me” portion of the user’s query and matches the remainder of the query with businesses and websites it believes are closest in location proximity to the user. This handling negates the efficacy of performing keyword optimizations with “near me” phrases for Google Maps/Local search.
Putting the words “near me” on your website won’t necessarily hurt you, but it’s of no value and you’d likely do well to make better use of that space.