Google is the most important search engine when it comes to being found online. There are currently over 200 ranking factors that get taken into consideration and it’s estimated that Google changes their search algorithym over 500 times per year.
Some changes are minor and others are major. Last week Google rolled out a change that sent ripples through the online world. This change was named Pigeon by Search Engine Land. This particular change impacts Local Search.
Gone is what was the 7 pack for the vast majority of search queries. The 7 pack was meant to help with local results but was typically plagued by inaccurate results.
The Real Estate Industry was one that was impacted by this as local 7 pack was a way to get onto page 1 without having to pay or without having to out rank the giants in the industry.
What does this mean for Local Search?
It’s early to say, but we are staying on top of this change as we continue analyze who has been impacted. One thing to note is that Google has historically made changes both permanently and temporarily just to test the results and see if the end result would be beneficial for web users.
The Winners in this change are those who have traditionally ranked well but were pushed lower because of the 7 pack feature.
Why do they make these changes?
Google is in the business of providing good results to web searchers. They change the alorithym with the goal of providing results that will keep users coming back. It makes sense since if users can’t find good results on Google, they will go off to a new search engine. You might say that would never happen. Remember AOL? It can happen. Also remember that Google makes the bulk of their money through PPC and AdWords. Quick fact: 84% of web searchers click on the organic results and 16% click on the PPC Ads.
What Now? Back to Basics.
It is important that you ensure that you have an SEO Optimized Website that has unique & quality content that gets shared socially, especially on Google+.
Make sure you follow SEO Best Practices and build up the authority of your website. Make sure your profile page on Google+ has all your accurate information and any online directories like Yelp and others have your correct information.
Let us know if you have been impacted possitively or negatively by this change.