New SEO Developments:Local Rules

Have you noticed a change in the way your search results are shown in Google? If not, you should. Simply put – it very well may impact your organization.

The easiest way to explain it is via photos. Here is the Before pic of how Google served up local results. Note that in the past, local results (along with the map) showed at the top in groups of 7 entries. There wasn’t a lot of information along with the entries and if you didn’t care, necessarily, about local results, you zipped right past because the other results were clearly delineated below the 7 entries.

Local Google results before change

Results from a local search prior to SEO changes.

Here is an after picture using Atlanta dentist as the search string:

What does local SEO like now?

After the Google changes, the local search for Atlanta dentist looks like this.

A: The scrolling map is now to the right side, making the local results much more integrated into the main results.

B: Local results are integrated into the “regular” results – only at the top. Will prospects give these results more love than the results further down? It’s too early to tell, but our guess is yes. Why? Because they are first…and because there is additional information that provides value. See the next entry.

C: Google has more closely integrated reviews and other relevant sites right along with the local results. This may seem like more value to your prospect. The reviews have more weight than ever and you should be paying close attention.

In summary, your online portfolio has a greater impact than ever on your organization and its ability to reach the right people with the right message. SEO experts will be attempting to figure out these latest rounds of changes for some time to come.

 

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