Sergey Alakov first noticed that Google has begun rolling out the local finder website mentions that Google began testing earlier this month. Website mentions in the local finder show the searcher if their query, the search they used to bring up the local results in Google, matches any of the content found on the local business website. Now it seems to be live for all, and I am able to replicate the “Their website mentions” notations myself. Here is a screen shot: The interesting part about this feature is that is demonstrates that Google does crawl — and can surface — local website content, yet the company has never explicitly said that site content is a factor in local rankings. As I’ve said before, Google has never confirmed that local ranking listings use signals from the content of the local business website. In fact, its guidelines and tips make no mention of content on the local business … [Read more...] about Google local finder rolls out website mentions matching your query
If you wanted to boil down marketers’ fears in the digital economy to one single idea, you might argue it would be loss of control. How your brand is being presented and talked about across all the various sites, channels and platforms out there can sometimes feel entirely out of your hands. There’s always that lingering concern that potential customers will be misled, either through malicious reviews or inaccurate business information that pushes people toward your competitors. Google My Business (GMB) has been one path to help brands solve the latter issue. GMB serves a similar function to business listings, much like Yelp or Yellow Pages, but has the added benefit of being tied directly to the tech giant’s search engine. Customers search for your business, and Google My Business returns a customizable listing to go along with other search results. Information like location, store hours and customer reviews is available right from Google’s search engine … [Read more...] about Google is making strides with Google My Business
Local consumers are increasingly searching online for shops, grocery stores, restaurants, car dealers, realtors and other businesses in their local area. Not surprisingly, four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like a company’s business hours, address, phone number, online reviews, busy times and more, according to Google. Google research also shows that businesses with detailed and complete online business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. (If you’ve ever looked up a local business online and drove all the way across town to their location only to find that they’ve moved, you know how frustrating that can be from a consumer perspective. When that happens, do you think they blame Google? Nope. They blame the business. And that consumer has just lost trust in the business.) Getting a local business listed on Google My Business (GMB) and other online directories is one of the fastest and … [Read more...] about Local SEO: 7 Google My Business questions asked and answered
UPDATE: After this article was published, Google reached out to the author to clarify a few things: Google plans to add pure service-area businesses (SABs) back into the local results — this includes home-based businesses. The disappearance of results for home-based businesses in markets without Home Service Ads was due to a bug (not intentional), which Google says should be resolved soon. Once these promised changes go live, Joy will write an article covering the impact, so stay tuned. If you are a local business that provides home services in the United States, you should be bracing yourself for what will happen when Home Service Ads roll out in your industry and market. The changes are vast and make a huge difference in who ranks in the local results on Google. When they first started expanding them last year in San Diego, it wiped out 89 percent of the listings in the local results. Unlike other features, Google isn’t preannouncing where they plan on rolling these … [Read more...] about Are Home Service Ads the death of home-based businesses on Google?
In an age of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) may seem like yesterday’s news, but, of all the technologies currently developing, it has the greatest potential for near-term changes that affect local search. While it remains murky how AI will benefit agencies, IoT is reaching a critical point in adoption and maturing to a stage where it provides actionable data. Or, as Brian Buntz with the Internet of Things Institute stated, “The IoT is about to shift into ludicrous mode.” The growth of the IoT is spurred by decreasing costs of hardware, such as sensors, together with the ease and availability of wireless connectivity. IoT devices already outnumber smartphones by about four times, and growth is expected to accelerate further with Cisco estimates topping 50 billion devices by 2020. The amount of data generated by these devices is enormous. Source: Cisco Annual global IP traffic already exceeds 1 zettabyte of data and will double by 2019, Cisco … [Read more...] about 6 ways IoT will make local search for SMBs scalable