How to survive Google’s new local search world
Google has made some significant changes in the area of local search. Contributor Wesley Young gives an overview of the important changes and shares tips on how to keep your local business visible in the search results.
Last month, I attended the Local Search Association’s 2018 annual conference (LSA18) and was overwhelmed at the helpful information shared by the experts who spoke. I’d like to share some key takeaways and offer some insights of my own on local search.
Local search must adjust
One of the main themes discussed centered around the fact that Google search today is less about displaying organic web page results and more about featuring Google products.
A typical query in Google search may bring back an abundance of Google-owned properties:
- Paid listings and ads.
- Knowledge panel.
- Review carousel.
- Local pack.
- News carousel.
- Images carousel.
- Research carousel.
- Refine by brand carousel non-Google SERP features.
- E-commerce URLs.
- Review URLs.
We are seeing result pages where Google features occupied virtually the entire page and organic web page results were barely visible.
The impact is clear: More and more information resides on Google’s servers instead of on the web itself. Google “curates” the vast majority of content users see, so webmasters must rely on Google’s platform and less on their independently owned websites.
To those who complained that traditional search engine optimization (SEO) relied too much on following Google’s rules, thanks for playing — you can now turn in your game card. We will soon be entering the local search arena on Google’s exclusive home turf.