It’s hard to believe but it’s time once again for our SEO “year in review” where we turn the page on the calendar and take a look back on all of 2013′s important developments in online marketing that had a significant impacts on the way we work. From a complete 180 in how Google tells us to set up Adwords accounts to an Analytics overhaul and the loss of all organic keyword data, 2013 certainly kept us on our toes.
2012 was the year of the Panda and Penguin for SEOs… so what sort of creatures should we expect Google to turn our world upside down with in 2013? Today we take a look predictions made by one of the industry’s foremost experts, Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz. We’ll offer our take on Rand’s predictions as well as a few of our own.
It seems that Google is once again testing changes to their local listings. Though instead of any fundamental change to the core of their directory, like moving from Google Places to Google+ Local, this time they’re just testing the display of even numbered local pack layouts in search results. It’s unclear why in the past local packs always only included 1, 3, 5 or 7 results, but they have apparently started showing 2, 4 and 6 packs to users lately, though infrequently.
Our latest case study of local search results, both in local packs and “local organics” – a search for “laser tag” on Google, Bing and Yahoo! Today we exam both the similarities and the differences in search results on the world’s top 3 search engines and revisit an issue we’ve discussed recently – Bing powered Yahoo! results pages differing significantly from Bing results.
Earlier this year Google released the “Venice” update, which improved how Google uses location settings to rank locally relevant pages in search results for generic, non-geographic searches. Essentially Google detects our IP addresses to determine our locations and then attempts to serve up locally important search results even when our search queries don’t include geographic language. What does this mean for your business’s website and how can you ensure you’re well positioned to take advantage of these new “local organics”?
Google’s problems with reviews for local businesses disappearing are as old as their local directory itself (Local Business Center/Places/+ Local), and I wrote about them at length several months ago (even before the Google+ Local transition). So, what’s changed? Well, nothing as far as Google taking action on the matter is concerned… But master of Google Local Mike Blumenthal is trying to turn up the heat by posting a group forum for business owners to sort of form a coalition.
It looks like Google has suspended merger testing and those of us who already had a business page on Google+ will have to wait to have it merged with the newly created Google+ Local page. Google hasn’t made any announcements yet, as to the date when they’ll fully roll-out merging capabilities, but one would hope sooner rather than later, particularly if they still intend to launch Business Builder in July.
Ever since Google Places was replaced by Google+ Local, those of us who had already created a business page on Google+ were left wondering if/when the pages would be merged. The process appears to have begun, but Google isn’t exactly broadcasting it.
Last week we talked about Facebook Offers, a new free service in beta testing and currently being offered to a limited number of “local” businesses around the country. Basically Facebook is returning fire at Google which has been busy trying to steal away some of the social media market share, particularly with the recent transition […]
As you undoubtedly know by now, Google replaced Places with Google+ Local as their local business directory a few weeks ago, but not much changed for business owners. Sure, they overhauled the review system and transformed how local pages look to the front-end user, but management processes and the back-end dashboard for the business owners […]