Hopefully you enjoyed your last weekend of the summer and are looking forward to the cooler nights of fall! Over the last month there have been a few changes in local search and SEO but not as much as in the last few months. I think Google is taking sometime to stabilize their systems and processes a bit.
LOCAL SEARCH/GOOGLE+ Local/GOOGLE MAPS
Maybe one of these days we will all call it the same thing but right now whether you call it any of the above names the system is still the same but there has been a few rumbling due to 2 issues with Google.
Reviews - Google has continued to strip businesses of their reviews - real or spammy - and businesses owners are getting really frustrated with Google about this whole process as they want their real reviews for the business to stay because we all know how much work it takes to get reviews. There is no end in sight when this "testing" or "quality control" that Google is doing with these reviews so we just continue to follow the "noise” around the community and see what happens. There was a little testing being done by Google in regards to bringing back the "star” ratings for local search. I know a lot of people who would like to see that come back as it can help drive more traffic to those businesses.
Serving People on Location - Google has yet to fix the problem of displaying businesses that did
n't properly mark there setting in Google Places about how they serve their clients. Businesses like plumbers serve people at the customers’ house and if they had checked the box of "We serve people at our location" Google removed the business from Google Maps all together. When those businesses went in to fix this issue Google has pretty much said...oops...sorry your business no longer exists in our system and as of yet have not been able to get those rankings back.
Ecosystem - David Mihm releases his Local Search ecosystem often. I just wanted to share it with you so you can see how....easy... 🙂 this local search stuff is. http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/local-seo/local-search-ecosytem-fall-2012/
Apple - You will see the little Apple on this ecosystem and that is because Apple is now providing its own mapping software when their new OS debuts in mid-September. We will stay on top of this new development and see what factors will help with the rankings in Apple’s new mapping software.
I mentioned this new tool last month and I am going to lead with it again this month -http://mozcast.com/ - by looking at this tool you can see how turbulent the Google algorithm changes can be from one day to the next. This is the daily battle we are facing inside of SEO.
Rankings change daily and we stay on top of it for you. This month there were really only 3 days above 80 and the rest of the month was pretty calm which probably means something big is coming up in the next few weeks. A couple of years ago Google would always do updates around holidays and I won’t be surprised if we see a major update over Labor Day.
Content marketing continues to be one of the best ways to generate new traffic to your site, especially for long tail keywords. Once you have new or revised content in place then the next step is promoting it....create content, promote that content with offsite links, create more content, more promotion work, etc.
One new wrinkle in the SEO world is Google testing 7 results for search queries instead of the usual 10. Industry blog chatter right now shows roughly 20% of search engines are now showing only 7 results in natural search (using the other real estate to sell paid ads, display local results, tie-in social media and various other online sources). Right now this happens more often on branded search queries but could spread to generic keyword searches soon. We will monitor the development and help your website strategize accordingly if listing space decreases.
After the Penguin and Panda Updates this year, Matt Cutts has frequently referenced a new concept of "rolling algorithm updates“ that are expected to last throughout 2012. Of note is the recent remarks he’s made saying there is a fairly substantial update coming soon. While the exact date has not been disclosed yet, we are fairly certain to see another major update in the coming weeks. Whatever impact that may bring, we’ll order your strategic tasks to ensure you see the most gain (and least disruption) possible throughout any Google activity.