Adding content for the sake of adding content. We're seeing more and more that unless content is actually well constructed and helpful, it doesn't add much benefit to the site. Really anything to do with citations, I'd be really interested to test how relevant it is to invest in them in the most basic level. If the listing itself isn't providing you business, then I'm skeptical Google wants to rate them very high at all.
Title tag changes used to have almost an immediate boost — personally, we thought it was too much of a boost considering the little amount of work put in. I think it's a good change that they don't have the same effect as they used to. Google seems to have finally mitigated the importance of proximity to centroid is that the sound of champagne corks popping in SEO agencies across the globe?
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With so many local searches coming from mobile phones, location history, IP address, and Google's surreptitious use of Wi-Fi networks to triangulate desktop location, I see many, many more results where the searcher is the centroid, not some arbitrary location in the civic center. I don't see placing a lot of emphasis on building citations as a useful tactic.
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Quality inbound links and reviews are much better strategies to focus on. Low-authority, third-party unstructured citations 2. Virtual addresses 3. Posting lots of social updates from claimed pages. Used to work well, but doesn't as much if the competition is too high.
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We used to blow out citations and make a big difference in visibility, and it really doesn't seem to matter much anymore. Social interaction signals seem to be much less important as well. The biggest two that come to mind are gaming centroid proximity and citations. It used to be that you could pretty easily manipulate local results by combining a "virtual office" near the centroid and loading up on all the citations from everywhere. If that's still working for you, I'd love to see your examples.
Citations don't move the needle like they used to. While they seem to be a necessary foundation, they're insufficient to really make differences in search.
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Manipulating which page you send people to in the website field of Google My Business used to have an impact on ranking but rarely does anymore. It used to be fairly easy to submit public edits on a listing to fix incorrect information, but these days, Google places way too much trust on what's in the GMB account. Often the only way to get spammy listings fixed is to report them directly to Google My Business vs. Google Maps.
Old-school SEO is no longer effective — you can no longer rely on just your website to do all the work for you. In the lodging industry, direct bookings were easier to obtain in the past than they are today. With competition from the OTAs and Google's persistence to sell those OTA rooms for a fee, a proven, individualized strategy is now imperative to survive. Your website, blogging, and social media, although foundational items in the past, are no longer producing the same ROI.
In the past, our clients were able to be found on page 1 organically and in the 3-pack by simply following basic Google guidelines. Such tactics are no longer effective in light of Google's quest to dominate the travel industry. We focus on the UK market and certainly structured citations seem to be less important, or rather, the volume of structured citations. Certainly getting the key citations in place is still important, but once the general purpose and any vertical listings are in place and optimized there is no need to go after every single listing out there.
Worrying about keyword density, exact match optimization, building hundreds of citations, optimizing for one search term per page, thin content, duplicated "location" pages. Be ready to put serious work into them — perhaps on an ongoing basis — to get them off the ground. Also, be prepared to see just enough junk in the search results to make you wonder why you bother at all.
Anything related to "keywords. It might it broader, more national searches, but I see nothing locally to indicate this is helpful. Assuming you have taken care of the factors that could categorized as a foundational, Reviews has jumped in terms of being able to quickly move the needle in visibility for results powered by Google's Knowledge Graph. The PC thing is to say we would invest in helping our clients generate great reviews. But then again, links seem to work pretty well If I only had to focus on ONE area of local search, it would be to focus on reviews.
Google seems to be adding more value and authority to factors that aren't in our control such as links, reviews, and user engagement metrics. GMB, hands down. If you look at the investment that Google has put toward GMB in the last year alone, you can tell that Google is the transactional layer of the Internet. Let's just look at what GMB has added in alone:. Citations, links, and other foundational tactics are still necessary, but hands down GMB is where is it at. Reviews vs. On-site: In most of the industries we work with across the board, really , people do research before purchasing a product or service.
If your overall review "portfolio" is a dumpster fire, well, your on-site is moot. Links: You can't build enough quality links to outrank a shitty reputation. Behavioral: If your review "portfolio" is inherently negative, the behavior is already set. They have the biggest bang right now. It's hard to get links, but when you do, it is worth it. Google My Business would be de facto area to focus on, based on receiving the highest share of search visibility and impressions when you look at search discoverability and how consumers find local businesses.
Oh wow, this is a hard one because there are so many moving pieces. I'd have to go with reviews. Reviews have become so much more important over the last few years and this trend is not going to change any time soon. Google knows this and although their review filter is not great at catching spam reviews they are going to continue to improve this and make reviews an increasingly larger component of the local algorithm. One thing we see across the board is websites with a strong backlink profile picking up traction and taking off.
This is tough to answer because I think the trends are moving toward a place where you CAN'T just pick one to focus on. I would prioritize winning budget as this seems like a huge missed opportunity. Only focusing on one of these would be a poor decision for most clients. Investing in citations for a search-mature, location business is likely a giant waste of money, but might actually be a cost-effective strategy for an SMB. While an SMB might not even have any resource to engage in website development. Both examples above have weaknesses that need to be addressed, and likely strengths that need to be supported.
Good reviews bring more business, which then affects everything else. This question totally depends on the competitiveness of the market and what a business has already done to date. Google has released so many rich features in the last 18 months that there's a ton you can do in Google My Business alone, even if all that ends up doing is increasing your conversion rate from branded searches.
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For more competitive markets it'd be a combination of reviews and behavioral signals. No question that links still matter today, but as we see fewer and fewer website results and more and more Knowledge Panels, I think they're a shorter-term tactic in terms of the timespan of ROI. The most important thing for local search in my opinion is a verified and complete GMB listing, which of course is needed in the first place and this followed by making sure business is represented across all major data sources with complete and matching information NAP, categories, etc.
Everything else such as reviews, citations, inbound links, and the like are complementary to these foundational strategies. We've always believed that review velocity is a defensible moat for any of the enterprise clients we work with. It's very hard for competitors to catch up to a brand that has made getting reviews in an above-board manner a top priority.
That's a hard question. It's tough to get links without good content, but you can't get great traffic without links. If you have great content but no one knows about it, does it even matter? If I had to pick only one and follow the rules of this question , then I would focus more effort on links. Onsite - in most cases, really awesome localized content makes more of a difference. Links might make a site rank higher as a silver bullet tactic , but without awesome content, the site won't convert as well. For our clients, the biggest move we make is creating really useful and locally relevant content.
Assuming you have your table stakes locked down i. GMB, reviews, citations, etc , I'd focus on links, but not just any links. Focus on topically and locally relevant links. GMB, but I'd include reviews in that. It is cheap, easy, and gives the highest return for its investment. It's always amazing to see how many people have fake duplicate listings, fake reviews, listings using virtual offices, etc.