Google Local Search Ranking Changes & gShift Updates

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Google Local Search Ranking Changes & gShift Updates

March 29, 2012 in SEO Evolution
3 Comments

Three major changes were made to the Google search engine algorithm in February 2012 affecting local search rankings, as follows (Source: Inside Search – Google Search blog):

1) Improvements to freshness. “[project codename “Freshness”] We’ve applied new signals which help us surface fresh content in our results even more quickly than before.”

2) Improvements to ranking for local search results. “This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.”

3) Improved local results.* “We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.”

*Note: Local results described here pertain to your Google Places listing being displayed on the first page of normal Google organic search results.

How does this impact your web presence?

You may start to see minor changes to Google search results based on your “localized” keyword phrases. A localized keyword phrase is a keyword that contains a city or region as part of the phrase (i.e. “Downtown Toronto Hotels”).

1) Depending on the organic search signals that you have been building with Google, your local results may appear more often than before. Or if your competitors are more optimized for local phrases, your local listing may not appear.

2) Your organic search results may appear with your local search results – as a combination organic search result.

3) Freshness of your content will have a direct impact on how Google perceives your website and will contribute to the success of your local results showing up.

4) Ensure that your Google Places listing is at least 90% configured with content because an incomplete Place Page can have a negative impact on your local search results.

What has gShift added recently in Web Presence Optimizer™ to help clients?

We responded immediately by developing the ability to track the position of your local search results and to report if and when they appear or disappear.

Google Local Search Results in gShift Labs

To view your local search results in gShift Labs, go to the “All Keywords” tab in the Keywords section. The local keyword phrase ranking data will also be included in your monthly reports.

Will this positively affect your gShift Score?

Yes. Your gShift Score represents your overall search visibility based on the keyword phrases that you want your web presence to rank for. Now that it includes localized search results, your gShift Score will increase based on your presence in Google Places.

What can you do to learn more?

Contact our client success team to review your data and they can provide guidance on these new changes and how you can change them into opportunities.  Also read: Getting Found in Local Search: Playing by Google’s Rules.

3 Comments
  • Lisa 06:20h, 26 May Reply

    Its true that google is giving more importance to local resutls and freshness. As google thinks its a better way to focus more on local seo, where most of the business happens. Regarding freshness, its also a good move by which google will have the latest updates all time.

  • Leeva Brit 16:29h, 05 June Reply

    This is one of the bestblog posts I have read this year. Thank you so much for providing the clearest and most concise list of Do’s and Don’t's and I look forward to applying most of these to my own online marketing strategy. My first job is obviously to get a new website !

  • Zoe 03:44h, 08 November Reply

    Great points! Fresh original contents and site update is in the works now. Thanks for the tips, I learned a lot from your post.

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