As a Project Manager here at Whitespark, I'm usually knee deep in implementing a bunch of SEO strategies for our LocalSpark clients. I'm usually not the guy around here that digs into the algorithm to see what has changed from one update to another. Let's just say I'm not the one around here that's going to tell you something new about the algo. I leave that sort of research and discovery to Darren and Phil. But on this day I found myself doing a number of searches for a Realtor we're working with to see if anything was triggering the local pack, and lo and behold, I stumbled upon something that even Darren thought was worthy of a post. What's the saying…even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while? Prior to the algo update on July 25th, there were many broad real estate keyword phrases that would trigger the local pack. Keywords like "real estate Minneapolis" or "realtors Minneapolis" would trigger the local pack all day long. That is no longer the case since the update. It seems like nothing triggers the local pack for real estate agents…well at least not until [...]
You probably heard that Google rolled out a new local algorithm that puts more emphasis on traditional web ranking signals. You probably also heard that Mozcast was reporting a massive 60% decline in search terms that returned local packs. Mike Blumenthal reported yesterday that the data in this drop could be skewed by the way Mozcast collects its local data by using the "near" parameter. Our Local Rank Tracker doesn't use the near parameter - it sets the location just like how someone would in their browser - so, we dug into our data to see if we could get a clearer picture on the actual drops.
The algorithm update happened on July 25th. Here's data from our rank tracker showing the difference in local packs before and after:Thursday July 24th: 448,088 search terms returned local packs Friday July 25th: 343,127 search terms returned local packs.
That's a 23.4% drop in local packs.
People have been reporting fluctuation in these results though. One day the term will not show a local pack, and the next day the local pack will be back. We pulled data over the past week to see this just how much fluctuation there is. Here's the [...]
Today we're thrilled to welcome Gene Maryushenko to Whitespark. Gene has been developing websites for 10 years and has been working in local search for the past 3 years. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. He's also an active contributor to the Local Search Google+ community.
Gene will be helping our LocalSpark clients take their local search visibility to the next level.
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Your business's local Google+ page could be like this:
But I'm guessing it's more like this:
Don't feel bad. You're not alone. Most businesses neglect their local Google+ (AKA Google Places) pages.
At best they're virtual business cards - minus the paper and social significance. At worst they fail to make would-be customers step inside, because they look about as comforting and cool as a colostomy bag.
There's hope. If you hustle, you can be the only one in your 'hood with a pimped Google page that makes mad bank.
You may remember the post I wrote over 2 years ago, How to Pimp Your Google Places Listing. That's old-school. Less than 4 months after I wrote it, Google retired the old Places pages. Much else has changed in the last couple of years - with the most-recent big change being the “My Business” rollout.
In that time, I've put together a whole new bag of tricks for pimping a Google page. (By the way, we help you with these as part of [...]