Google really left businesses hanging with the Q&A release, Mike BLumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column: “We had enough engineering cycles that we could “step into the breach” of what is obviously a big brand problem. Whether it is long term or not depends on what Google can parse from the questions in terms of improving results. “
Trying to game Google today is not worth the risk. Yet every day I see examples online and talk to digital marketers, agencies and businesses who are still trying to trick Google. Whether you’re optimizing your client’s business or your own, here are a few local SEO games you should stop playing with Google.
Facebook has been formidable in a few key areas of local — mostly among SMBs. It has penetrated further in SMB adoption than any other entity to date, and Street Fight data indicates sustained growth. That’s half the battle for Facebook: The other half is gaining equal favor as a local search and discovery engine among users.
“As audiences age out, the number of print subscribers will plummet, and as older small business owners retire, old ways of doing business … retire with them as well,” David Mihm writes to Mike Blumenthal. “Legacy media companies that don’t evolve rapidly are going to be left with no audience and no customers.”
As of this year, the task of updating the Local Search Ecosystem has been handed to Darren Shaw of Whitespark, who also inherited David Mihm’s other well-known brainchild, the Local Search Ranking Factors report. Last week, Darren released Local Search Ecosystem 2017, a bold departure in visual design and a much-needed update to the last edition, from 2014.
People behave differently depending on where they are in the digital space. Even the same individual will exhibit drastically different behavior depending on when and where they are online. Understanding the different mindsets of your audience on these channels will help you align them more effectively.
“Google has been on a tear this past month in the DIY realm,” notes Mike Blumenthal in his bi-monthly conversation with David Mihm. “Three major product rollouts in a 30-day span; Websites, Posts and now SMS messaging. And Google only needs uptake on one of them to get a chance to sell Adwords Express.”
Website builders have been around almost as long as the internet itself. As you would expect, this is a busy market. Sitebuilderreport.com tracks 35 vendors. There are many more. Interestingly, only 4 of the 35 vendors get a good rating. Clearly, this is a large market that is ready for new and better solutions.
Whether a business is local or not, content drives the bulk of digital marketing. A successful content marketing campaign involves topics that resonate with the intended audience, creates buzz on social media and attracts high quality links. Yet, the approach that many people take to content marketing is backward.
For many years, Physical Address in City of Search was the most important ranking factor, but it has now been overtaken by Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance). As such, the canonical local search use case has become a mobile user searching for a business nearby his or her current location.
“It’s incredible to me that given all of Google’s focus on new local products that they are still getting some of the basics wrong,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “People who rely on Google more and more to find local businesses need to know that the fundamental metric of the business quality, reviews, is fair and well policed.”