In October (around the 16th) Google made some big changes to search engine results.
In a nut shell they no longer serve up the local box, but instead have combined the Google places accounts with the organic results, with a heavy weight on the “local” address where they see a local intent in the search term.
There is a lot of information on blogs and search engine sites about thie, but it just comes down to a local SEO company now must work on both the places optimazation and the organic (on site) work. We have always done both!
It’s never been more important for a local business to be on the first page on search engines.
I recently had an email from a client asking about his Google site rankings moving a little bit over the last few days. I thought the answer might be of interest to anyone asking that same question. So here is my response.
The things that impact your organic listings are:
- Your site content
- Your Back links
- Other sites content
- Other sites Back links and improvements to their sites
- Google making changes to their methods of ranking sites by keyword.
So, in the world of organic listings you will see your site move a little from time to time. As we only control 2 of the factors, we can only react to the others. I never get to concerned with a ranking moving down for a week or two. We need to let things “settle” a bit before we assume what’s happening.
The monthly web managed services program will help and should, over time, continue to both stabilize your rankings as well as move them closer to the top.
Google Local has a tendency to be more stable once you’re established (at least so far). We think that’s based on the current ranking methods which are not SEO based, but specific to Local. Many SEO firms don’t even consider the LOCAL box and therefore fewer changes seem to be made to those listings.
This of course is changing every day as more firms realize how important that piece is. Google also has a test going on in CA. giving Local companies the ability to buy a simplified version of PPC and placing it above the Local Box. Seems to be little doubt this will get rolled out in one form or another nation wide over the next few months or quarters. How that effects site traffic will remain to be seen.
In general, Google would like SEO tactics to disappear, and allow what ever systems they employee to completely dictate rankings. So, they continue to make moves to discount traditional SEO tactics, and encourage better Web site structure instead. They continue to move to content being king and simple tactics like Meta tags, Keyword stuffed domain names, individual page name changes, and unrelated links becoming less important.
That’s why our monthly maintenance program makes sense. The first priority for us is to make sure we understand what’s changing every month, and then apply that knowledge to your Internet Visibility program. It’s also the reason we spend so much time on research and reporting.
For those of you interested in more information on our web visibility programs, or web managed services you can find more information on our site. www.salesjumpstart.net