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What is the Google Pigeon Update?

Google Pigeon is an update to the local ranking algorithm that Google launched on July 24th, 2014.  Google stated the purpose of the update was to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.  Unlike other major updates that Google has implemented over the last couple of years, this update is not a penalty based update - it’s a change to the local search ranking algorithm itself.

What has changed?

Some of the key changes noticed to date include:

  1. There are a lower number of search results that include local listings.

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  2. The new local ranking algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, meaning it is now taking into account more of the traditional search ranking signals.
  3. Local business listing directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages have seen a significant boost in rankings. For some searches, the entire list of results are made up of local directory listings.
  4. Searches done in larger cities are including more results from the center of the city vs. the outskirts.
  5. Local link building and/or content creation has a big impact on local rankings.
  6. Business reviews play an important part of the ranking process.

What should I do now?

If you own a local small business, it’s more important now than ever to have your business listed in local, authoritative directories and websites (also knows as Citation Building).  With 59% of consumers using Google every month to find local businesses1, you’ll want to be found.  Along with your local citations, you'll also want to persuade your customers into leaving reviews. As I touched on above, the more reviews your business has the more popular your business will seem to Google (and the other major search engines) and will therefore be rewarded with better local search engine rankings. And we all know better rankings leads to more business!

 

1. MDG Advertising

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Rich Snippets: An Overview

As Google continues to enhance their search results for a better user experience, webmasters, business owners, and the like have been scrambling to keep up with the changes.  Back in 2009 Google introduced rich snippets on their Google Webmaster Blog, which to many was just a buzzword that made little sense and was not important enough to pursue. Today, rich snippets are an important part of the search engine result pages (SERPS) and something you do not want to ignore.

What is a Rich Snippet?
A rich snippet is essentially just a small summary of the data that a user can expect to see on a web page.  Its intent is to help the user discover websites that are more relevant to their searches and aid in the decision making process before they click on a listing in the SERPS. Listings that include a rich snippet are much more likely to get the click than a standard listing without.  Here’s a good example:

When looking at these listings, are your eyes drawn to the first one?  Precisely.  This is exactly why you should be using rich snippets within your website. It’s an excellent way to set yourself apart from your competitors and gain additional clicks.

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How Local SEO Benefits Your Small Business

Each month there are more than one billion searches entered into the major search engines.  35% of these searches are from people looking for local merchants, so that means there are over 300 million people looking for products or services that YOU provide. Is your website being found? If not, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that you are missing out. 

Local SEO, or search engine optimization, allows you to reach potential customers in your geographical area. The majority of people searching for local businesses are ready to make a purchase.  In fact, more than 60% of local searches generate a sale. 

Local SEO

At its heart, SEO is designed to promote your website for particular search terms. By combining specific keywords with high quality SEO services, you can boost your website's rankings for search terms like "energy efficient light bulbs" or “Chicago coffee shops”.  The key is to determine the specific keywords people are using to find your business online and to optimize your website for them.

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eComp Marketing LLC ®
1237 Anthony Street
Hancock, MI 49930
Phone: 906-661-2226

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