Check My Online Presence See how complete and consistent your business’s location appears across the web. An all-in-one SEO toolset to boost your search engine rankings. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO If you’re brand new to SEO, start here. The conclusion I’ve reached from these facts is that the era of scary Google updates is over. First, Google isn’t going to change its core values anytime soon.
In May 2015, Google released a “phantom, ” unannounced update that refined how Google determines the authoritative strength of an article. This algorithm was released in April of 2012, and significantly affected hundreds of thousands of websites. Inbound links used to play an even greater role in search engine rankings than they do now.
It’s also one of the hardest and most time-intensive to execute, and often requires help from a professional agency. Daily deal offerings like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Google Offers give merchants the promise of guaranteed customers—at a high price.
This fact was abused and manipulated to the point that Google had to figure out a way to fix it. Publish interactive, engaging content to keep visitors on your website longer. Limit advertisements on your website, especially if they are located “above the fold” of the page or not very relevant to the content of the page. Include original, unique, valuable content on every page of your website. Google’s “Panda” algorithm update targeted sites with low quality on-site content; even huge sites with thousands of pages that long enjoyed top rankings were severely affected. The past decade has been a roller coaster ride for SEO professionals, but over the last year or two, things have finally leveled off.
That means featuring the city or neighborhood of the location in the title and body of each relevant piece. Even though you’ve consolidated all your locations under one domain, it’s important to differentiate between your locations. Otherwise, Google won’t know that you have multiple locations and your users might have a hard time figuring out the nearest one to them. Keep in mind that Google, along with most third-party apps, does not act quickly. Once you’ve updated your information or made a request, it could still take several weeks before action is taken on your behalf. Be patient and set a date to follow up in the future—in my experience, six weeks is enough time to see consistent results.
You can think of Twitter as a kind of public-email-listserv for the web. Depending on the type of business you operate, you might use Twitter to announce new products, chat about news items in your industry, or offer discounts. Based on your industry, success may require either minutes or hours of participation per day. Online lead generation companies like Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, and RedBeacon offer guaranteed customers–if you’re able to sell them after their initial request. Some sites charge a membership fee; others take a percentage of the contract amount.
Google still ranks companies based on how well they treat their users and how much respect they command from other online sources. Google is satisfied with the current state of its algorithm, and most subsequent updates have been aimed at tweaking existing features or adding small new ones. SEO experts were constantly hypothesizing and predicting which updates would come next, and when, though Google never offered up any clues as to what was coming down the pipeline. Even today, in the wake of sensationalized updates like the “Mobilegeddon” change, search marketers are on edge about the next update that will throw the search world into chaos. As I just explained, Panda and Penguin led the way for these changes and for years, this almost rapid-fire series of algorithm shifts made search marketers paranoid.
Third-party guidance is recommended to protect against dissatisfied customers or huge financial losses. Without link building, simply adjusting your code may only have a limited effect. Video is a fantastic way to engage with prospects—both on your website and on search engines like YouTube and Vimeo. There are some exceptions, but video production is usually tough to do in-house, and companies like SmartShoot and Spotzer can be expensive.
The fundamentals that make a “good” website are likely to remain consistent for the foreseeable future, and the search algorithm as it exists today does a great job of evaluating this. Finally, Google is trying to push updates and data refreshes in new, more subtle ways, which barely affect search rankings in the short term. It’s also worth noting that the way Google iterates its landmark algorithm changes has evolved over the past few years. Both Panda and Penguin were followed up with 2. 0 updates, which carried almost as much weight as the original. Each of these updates bore some significant change to Google’s ranking process, but none of them overhauled the algorithm the way Panda and Penguin did. Only a tiny fraction of business owners saw any movement at all because of these updates. This fundamental quality standard has not changed in the past four years.
Some were ready for the algorithm changes that occurred over that time span which changed the industry, while many were completely caught off guard. Angie’s List is an user-pay review service, but is free for businesses. At a cost of up to $40/year just to access the reviews, Angie’s List has come under fire over the past couple of years. In fact, listed businesses can even pay to receive prominent placement on the site; obviously many critics find this seriously comprises the site’s claim of providing unbiased reviews.
With 135 million unique monthly visitors and more than 71 million reviews, Yelp is the largest review site for local businesses. This can be tricky, especially if you’re consolidating everything into one master blog, but it’s important to include content based around each of your individual locations.