Last updated on October 27th, 2015
The rise of local SEO has easily been one of the biggest changes in search optimization this past year. Local SEO has been Google’s baby ever since the release of their Pigeon local algorithm update a little over a year ago. And earlier this month, this baby was given a pretty significant facelift when Google replaced the standard 7-packs with 3-packs in desktop search.
Called the “Local Snack Pack,” Google likely made the change to bring the desktop results more in line with mobile search. Interestingly, one study discovered that the change had another surprising effect: the new local pack now shows in the top spot 93 percent of the time (compared to just 25 percent of the time with old pack).
“The effects of this change depend on your Enterprise presence,” writes the study’s author. “One thing, however, is clear: it is the most disruptive change Google has made to search results in a while – aside from its regular algorithm updates.”
He adds, “Looked at another way, however, this switch represents a huge opportunity for both enterprises with physical locations and smaller local players to monitor and optimize their online presence.
Speaking of opportunities, here are some other industry insights and news to keep your SEO strategy current:
- Google seems to be all about letters days – what with their recent announcement that the company plans to restructure into a parent organization called “Alphabet.” In honor of Google’s name change, WordStream put together a list of the ABC’s of Google AdWords. If you’re not too burned out on the alphabet, also check out our recent blog, “SEO Basics I: Brought to You by the Letters A-J.”
- Google announced the release of dynamic structured snippets earlier this year and so far the hype seems underwhelming to say the least.
- Getting your AdWords ad copy perfect is no simple task. Check out part 1 and part 2 of this Essential Guide to Testing AdWords Copy to take it one step at a time.
- Display advertising may feel like dumping piles of money in a bonfire, but as WordStream suggests, banner ads are one of the best ways to build your business if (and there’s always an if…) done right. Split-testing is the key to making display advertisements profitable rather than a pitfall.
- Google boasts two or three times the number of advertisers than Yahoo Bing, and this high competition level may be hurting the King of Search’s dominant lead over other search engines. New research indicates that Google’s stronghold may be slipping, particularly in CTR (click-through rate).
- As of last month, Facebook surpassed Google as the leading referral traffic site on the internet. Facebook now holds 38.3 percent of the referral traffic share, whereas Google slipped to 35.8 percent.
- “You don’t need a desktop website anymore.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s more or less what Google’s John Mueller said this week: “I think what I’d try to make sure is that [your website] still works on desktop and that it doesn’t show an error on desktop, but rather someone on desktop can still access it.” Is he right though? That’s a question Mike O’Brien from Search Engine Watch addresses further in this article.
- If you use WebPageTest to find weak spots in your site’s SEO, then you must be familiar with waterfall diagrams. These useful graphs can be a great tool for high level visualization of page load speed. First though, you have to know what you’re looking at. Here’s an SEO professional’s guide to waterfall diagrams courtesy of Moz.
- With so many changes in search engine concepts and techniques, many SEOs are going back to the basics and asking about keyword repetition. How much keyword repetition is too much? Rand Fishkin and his magnificent mustache are back with another Whiteboard Friday to offer his take.
- When asked their gender in a recent online marketing survey, almost 70 percent of respondents answered male. More women are getting involved in SEO now than in 2012 (when just 22 percent of internet marketers were women) – particularly in the areas of social media and content marketing – however, gender equality is still a goal we need to strive for as an industry. Read more here…
- We know Google prefers responsive website design, but is it a ranking factor? Search Engine Land sends writer Clay Cazier on a quest to find out in this article.
- By its very name, the internet seems destined to become more and more interactive. In fact, in many ways the future of an interactive web experience is already upon us. Content marketers should get on board now or risk getting left behind as this blog.
- Different generations approach life differently, and like it or not that includes how content is read, understood, accessed and responded to. If you are a Gen-X content marketer, take a look at these three things you should know about Millennials.
- Attracting organic traffic can be tricky, but there are definitely some proven techniques. A great headline, memorable content and getting to the point are a few words of advice from Kissmetrics. Read their other tips here…
Be sure to come hang out with us next time for another roundup of SEO stories, headlines and news.