As part of our ongoing management of your site - we wanted to take a moment to bring attention to some changes you may be seeing as a result of another Google update. Google typically makes these algorithm changes annually.
Within the past few weeks, we have seen many fluctuations in rankings - both locally and long-tail - preceding what we felt was another significant change.
Over the weekend, what has been coined "Google Pigeon" was discovered - and in its most basic form deals with the Google Maps/Places system and online directories. This greatly affects those of you who have moved offices locations in the past or have multiple statewide addresses. Google has resurrected many old office locations even if they were closed and in some cases given higher value to those older closed listings. Google is Internet software and software has bugs, therefore as we find these old office locations we will take corrective action with Google. We believe the reason for this is two fold - first and foremost Google's use of Places inspires "gaming" or abuse of places requiring a periodic clean up and more importantly - they continue to integrate mobile and those search result displays are taking precedents over places.
Google has also removed "rich snippets" from the search results. We do not expect these to be back anytime soon. Theories persist that these snippets distracted users from "Pay Per Click."
While in most cases our sites have benefited from these changes, there will be fluctuations in site rankings day to day - until the kinks are worked out by Google.
We are seeing differing results depending on your location physically (even when you change your search settings Google still picks up where you physically are), directories popping up in searches and Google Places is being eliminated for some keyword terms. It seems Google is again dissecting search - and taking additional steps towards mobile (location based) search, as they did this past fall with the root term, local volume shift.
What are we doing?
- Authority for your websites continues to be crucial to coming through these updates. We will continue to distribute and produce high value content and materials across the Internet that target your individual target markets and practice areas.
- If you have video or video channels we will be focusing additional SEO efforts on your you-tube channel.
- Mobile already has a huge impact on search, ;and is here to stay. To stay ahead of the curve, we will updating sites as needed for the 2015 usability standards.
What can you do?
- Client Reviews - With directories and places fluctuating; reviews within these accounts (legitimate, not made up or paid for) continue to be important. Please email any testimonials or reviews (if you don't already do so) to your Account Manager.
- Encourage your clients to post reviews to Yelp, Google Places, AVVO, yahoo.com, whitepages.com, merchantcircle.com, superpages.com.