The 1 Thing: Google’s Local Focus

By Steph Von der Heyde | The 1 Thing

Apr 08

Stay on top on the biggest developments in digital news. We choose the ‘1 thing’ we think you should know about. This week it’s…

Google’s Local Focus

This week search engine news has been abuzz with the movement we’re seeing around Google’s local business results.

It seems Google have really stepped up their focus on local rankings and are making a series of significant tweaks and changes in this area.

Why should you care?

Google’s renewed attention to local shows website owners where they should be placing their own focus.

Those who keep up with these changes stand to improve their rankings and the searcher’s experience of their website.

How is Google changing their local search results?

The first major change happened earlier this year when Google introduced the ‘Local 3 Pack’ or Search Carousel.

Now, they’ve hinted at their renewed focus on local with the following changes:

Review Snippets to be included in local search results:

Google has started including a review snippet on the SERP (search Engine results page). Users will now see a customer review of your business (chosen by Google at random) without having to click onto your website.

Users no longer need Google+ account to review your business:

Google have removed the G+ sign in stumbling block so as to encourage more users to review your service.

This obviously goes hand in hand with their review snipped update and demonstrates Google’s affinity for employing user generated data to help others make more informed decisions about businesses online.  

Google has updated their Local Ranking Help page

Previously, the page included a few short paragraphs on relevance, distance and prominence for ranking in the local results. Now, Google has included reams of new information, including specific advice on how to be included in the new local 3-pack.

This update provides final proof that local has been in Google’s sights this week and provided a firm nudge to businesses who aren’t well optimised for local search.

Take Aways:

By investing some time in local SEO you can achieve more visibility and prominence on SERPs than your competitors – especially those outranking you on typical organic.

In a nutshell, it’s worth following Google’s lead and placing more focus on local in the next few weeks.

Further Reading:

Review snippets: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-tests-review-snippets-in-local-pack-21881.html

Goolge+ reviews: https://searchengineland.com/google-accounts-no-longer-required-leaving-local-reviews-google-246529

Google Local Ranking Factors: https://searchengineland.com/google-documents-google-business-local-ranking-factors-246428

 

x