Linda Buquet

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Marcus Miller just did a really comprehensive summary of all the recent changes in Google Local search. Wanted to share in case anyone is new and has not been keeping up.

WHAT you say? Who could not be aware of all the changes???
Well that raises a point I've been wanting to bring up for awhile.

SMBs seem to not be aware or not care. Maybe your tuned in clients that watch their rankings and were sitting at 5 and now are gone care. But the average SMB seems to not even have noticed the changes.

I've been waiting for a backlash of complaints at the Google Business forum, but there have been so few I could count on one hand. So for the SMBs in the house that are not working with a local search consultant and are not tuned in, this one's for you!

But this post is for Pros too, because it really contrasts the changes and gives solid tips for how to diversify your marketing efforts + how to handle the increased competition that will result.

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/local-seo-not-island-least-shouldnt-228959">Local SEO Is Not An Island (Or At Least It Shouldn't Be!)</a>

Local SEO has just seen the biggest shake-up since Pigeon in the last few weeks. We now have a single standardized set of local results across both desktop and mobile devices. The big change, of course, is that the variable pack of one, three or often seven results is now replaced with only three results across the board.

The real impact here, beyond UX changes, is that many businesses have just fallen out of sight. This is a reduction in visibility of almost 60 percent in many cases, so the competition for local visibility stands to get somewhat more fierce in the coming months.

We also have the threat of sponsored local results on the horizon, which look eerily like the new standardized local results.

Is a standardized local pack a step toward a sponsored local pack? Is the local SEO free ride about to come to an abrupt halt? Will this approach roll out across all local search or be limited to service-type businesses? Will we see local sponsored listings and local organic listings?


Above is just a very very small part of the post. Lots of screenshots and definitely worth a read.
Click above to read the rest.

Back to my top point. Have you heard much of a backlash from SMBs out in the wild??? If not, why not do you think???
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Ex Lurker

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Good post and link.
I am sure that many SMBs did not notice or do not care, one reason they may not care is because it is so hard understanding all this stuff and takes so much time. The other reason may be because of other places to advertise.

I am guessing the new local business ads in S.F. which seem very appealing are a way to create more revenue. And maybe the likes of Facebook, Homeadvisor (which seems like a commercial every few minutes on tv) and lets not forget Amazon have taking chunks of money from Google.

Myself and many that I spoken with see this as much better than Homeadviser, Facebook, Amazon, etc, and Google will make the user experience much better, have a cleaner map pack if one at all.

So that leaves Google to clean up the organic and test new products like self driving cars, etc.
 

mborgelt

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Thanks for sharing. I am glad that more posts like this are starting to surface. As granular as local seo can be it is important, but difficult, to realize that most businesses need more than just a local effort to gain visibility and traffic. I think things like this are especially helpful for business owners taking the DIY approach as it is extremely easy to get led astray.
 

CodyBaird

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I've remained quiet on this one. I am mostly curious how these changes affect calls and sales. I am going to pay attention to call tracking the next 60 days while dust settles.

The last thing I need is for clients to worried about something out of their control. I will also say that our clients have ppc and retargeting/display in place which helps buffer changes like this in the seprs.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

cjonesmn

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The last thing I need is for clients to worried about something out of their control. I will also say that our clients have ppc and retargeting/display in place which helps buffer changes like this in the seprs.
I agree with Cody. In fact, I've found that SMBs really don't care how things work under the hood when it comes to rankings... they just want someone to come in and deliver results, not complain about Google. If it requires PPC, they are just fine with that.
 
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