The battle is on. With Google’s Penguin update and Google’s new mobile friendly applications, the local SEO game has changed drastically.
Having your local SEO A Game on is more important now than ever. Professionals in the local SEO game are scrambling around trying to make sense of the search engine changes and that means studying the analytical data that is voluminous to say the least. When the dust clears, however, the game will change again.
This is driving some professionals and customers crazy but it need not be a panic situation. The bottom line is that Google’s new Penguin update basically rearranged the neighborhoods and geographical areas into more bite sized pieces and that has shifted the results. Where a company or business may have been at top of the search results before, may have now dipped. On the other hand, another company or business that was low on the results rose up some. This is normal whenever changes occur in algorithms or other main strategies or applications of new technologies.
The first line of defense and repair is to look at your site and see if the information is correct and to make sure you’re following the fundamentals of the local SEO game. The old standards of professionalism are your best safety net here. Properly written copy, pictures and videos that are well tagged, site maps, links of relevance and pertinence to the subject matter, well laid out site with interesting and memorable graphics.
Cramming keywords and keyphrases are still a no-no. Don’t even try any black hat techniques nowadays or you’ll get hammered by the search engines into oblivion. There are no short cuts and those that might exist are going to be slowly weeded out.
The new local SEO game is going the same route as standard SEO. Tired of spammers and scammers, the search engines are really pouring it on regarding investing in better programming and software. Staying on top of these new innovations is a must because it’s becoming apparent that the search engines are micro analyzing things and looking for the utmost precision. With that kind of precision, geographical areas and neighborhoods are going to be categorized differently. What is your locale today might shift in importance in a month or so.
This is all so that search queries are precise and produce precise results. Directories are a good place to add your data but some directories aren’t as good as others. This too is an ever changing landscape as new directories appear and some disappear. You may be riding high from one directory, only to find out it has been sold or shut down. That will send your search engine results into a tizzy.
So basically, to defend and repair your local SEO, stay with the basics that are ethical and informative to the surfer. Study up on the latest in local SEO and if possible hire a pro. You’ll benefit in the long and short term.