Local Search

Best Local Search Articles of 2016

Best Local Search Articles of 2016

In 2016, there were updates to everything from local search algorithms to Google My Business listings. Several updates to the Google algo in the past year modified the original Local SEO “Possum” update. This update first launched in September and hit those businesses that were targeting far outside of their physical city locations. As a result, ranking in outside cities is now far more difficult than it used to be. Local search marketers also noticed Google Ads were now appearing on local pack results as of last year. Now that more space is devoted to ads, businesses that aren’t at the top are going to have a tougher time competing for those spaces. What was originally 7 slots became 3, and then 2. However, there are some new ways to get attention. New visible attributes have been added to search listings, and customers can sort results by these attributes. Google showed plenty of love and attention to Google My Business this year. They tested out a new verification system targeted at locksmiths. The goal may have been to identify and remove fake GMB listings. The GMB profile has also been updated from the classic version, which made it look like more of a social page where your posts are visible to your visitors. Google is expected to roll out a slew of new updates in 2017. Google MapMaker will be shutting down in March of this year. The big takeaway is that strong local SEO requires more diversification. To be ready for what Google is throwing at us, we’ll need to take advantage of all the search ranking factors...
The Latest in Local Search for December

The Latest in Local Search for December

I recognize that not all of us have time to keep a pulse on SEO or more specifically local search, so I am happy to put this little summary together. I am sure there are a few things I miss each month, but this is just what popped up on my radar, and seemed noteworthy. OH, before I forget, I’ve got a new mini newsletter that I’ve put together. It’s a short, weekly…brain dump. Marketing, business…sometimes more personal stuff that I hope is relatable. I think you will like it. If that sounds like your sort of thing, sign up here. Now back to SEO. December’s BEST Local Search Reads Insights for Photos and Edit Attributes For Your Business An update for Google My Business includes newly-accessible insights on how your photos perform compared to other businesses in your area. Another update last month includes the ability to list amenities for your customers, including Wi-Fi, handicap accessibility and more. More about this update, here. Google Pack Can Now Filter Results Google has added the ability to filter Google Pack results by business ratings and hours. This will help users if they are looking for highly-rated businesses, and want to see only the results that are currently open for business. Read more about this. You Can Manage Yelp Listing Via MozLocal Business owners and Local SEO’s can now manage their Yelp listing using the MozLocal dashboard. This is the first third-party to be granted this feature. Learn about this partnership. SEO Must Reads How to Improve Your Site’s Performance When Using GIFs 7 Easy Local Link Building Tactics You Should...
The Latest in Local Search for November

The Latest in Local Search for November

I recognize that not all of us have time to keep a pulse on SEO or more specifically local search, so I am happy to put this little summary together. I am sure there are a few things I miss each month, but this is just what popped up on my radar, and seemed noteworthy. OH, before I forget, I’ve got a new mini newsletter that I’ve put together. It’s a short, weekly…brain dump. Marketing, business…sometimes more personal stuff that I hope is relatable. I think you will like it. If that sounds like your sort of thing, sign up here. Now back to SEO. November’s BEST Local Search Reads Say Goodbye to Google Map Maker Google announced that it’s Google MapMaker will be removed from Google Maps. This standalone product will retire in March 2017. It’s function will be directly integrated into Google Maps. Read more here Google’s Home Services Ads Google is now testing their Home Services Ads on mobile. Recent reports have spotted it on mobile across California. Google Home Services Ads is for local service providers (for now) such as locksmith, hvac services, plumbers, etc. For more info click here. Google My Business Live Chat Google is testing a new feature on Google My Business. A selected group of business owners can a new live chat feature where they can directly chat with customers that find their business listings (badass!) on Google search. Read more about this. SEO Must Reads 70% of Consumers Will Leave a Review for a Business When Asked The 7 Citation Building Myths Plaguing Local SEO Competing for Local Queries With...
The Latest in Local Search for October

The Latest in Local Search for October

I recognize that not all of us have time to keep a pulse on SEO or more specifically local search, so I am happy to put this little summary together. I am sure there are a few things I miss each month, but this is just what popped up on my radar, and seemed noteworthy. OH, before I forget, I’ve got a new mini newsletter that I’ve put together. It’s a short, weekly…brain dump. Marketing, business…sometimes more personal stuff that I hope is relatable. I think you will like it. If that sounds like your sort of thing, sign up here. Now back to SEO. Distance to business now showing in Google’s Local Knowledge Panel Google added an additional feature in Google’s Local Knowledge Panel. Now you can view how far you are from the business you are searching. This was a feature I always used Foursquare (wait, is it even called that still?) for. When going out for dins, or in a new city, seeing what is closest to you is helpful. Way to go Goog! More here. Local SEO now has an organic ROI tracking method The partnership between Yext and Uber brings a new tool that can help local search marketers and local businesses alike. The tool will allow business owners to track true ROI in the course of their digital marketing – something few SMBs are used to surely. The technology will connect those looking for a business with the ability to instantly request a ride. It also sounds like you will be able to serve them coupons and suggestions in the Uber app while...
The Latest in Local Search for September

The Latest in Local Search for September

A big month for those of us working in the Google. Two updates in one month. Oh heavens! I am not going to pretend that I have a lot to say about either, and instead I will simply point you in the direction of the articles that I thought did the best job of summarizing things. On the local side of things, Joy Hawkins nailed it. Organic (though that’s still local folks!), I am always a fan of Cognitive SEO’s blog. If you only read two SEO blog posts this month, I’d check these ^^ out. Oh, actually I thought this was a pretty legit link building post by Ahrefs. Shoot, actually there is one other random SEO thing I came across, a free rank checker tool by Authority Labs. Clearly I need to spend a little more time preparing these newsletters…I am mess! Moving on! A few things for our more advanced/interested readers: Introducing Google My Business API v3.1 We’ve been playing with the GMB API for our new panel release, and so any updates Google makes are very relevant to us. Last month they made some more tweaks (2 months in a row! dang!) you might want to know about. Google Now Displays “Reviews From The Web” Joy touched on this in the above link, but here is a bit more detail. Google added “Reviews from the web” to the local Knowledge Panel. This added feature brings aggregated user ratings from up to three third party review sites. Read more about this update. I dig it!! Google Updates Mobile Rich Snippet Display with Pricing Information Besides the...
The Latest in Local Search for August

The Latest in Local Search for August

Local SEOs will want to pay attention to the slew of new local changes that came through in August. Some of these might require you to change your GMB strategy entirely, but don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas on how you can make the most of these updates. New Guidelines for Google Schema Review for Local Businesses Google just updated the guidelines for schema reviews for local businesses. You know? The snippet that you see in Google that we’ve all been using to game our CTR? The big takeaway here in my mind is ‘don’t duplicate your content’. And here I thought that was sort of obvious. More specifically, don’t copy your reviews from Yelp or other and then use them on your site. And if you do, don’t add them as a snippet. Heck, don’t add them as content. If you absolutely must do this, the way to do it is to add them as an image. Click here to view the updated guidelines. I thought Professor B did a fantastic job of the details here. No More Business Description/Bio on GMB Listing Last month, Google removed the ability to edit/add business descriptions on GMB listings. They also removed it on the live GMB page. Note, you can still edit and see it on the Google Plus end of things. Is this a response to me trying to keyword-stuff the crap out of it? I’ve seen some descriptions with literally dozens of links going back to the website. Google always ruining my fun (: P) Read more here and here. Google New Feature “Google Cards/Posts” Google has been...