Why Google My Business is Critical for Local Success

Local SEO

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business launched to most businesses in June of 2014 and signified a major investment from Google in local business. Google, always looking toward future, appears to be solidifying local business as their foundation for the future. Many businesses were able to use Google My Business (GMB) immediately upon release, while other, larger, branded companies had to wait several months for the rollout.

Originally known as Google Places, Google My Business is designed to help local businesses seize control of their digital marketing presence. This powerful tool allows businesses to manage general business information, Google Reviews, Google Plus, Adwords and Analytics in one easy to use home. It also provides a way to manage the local digital landscape from Google Search, Google Maps and Google Plus on one dashboard.

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I Got us Pandalized. Then We Got Out. Here’s How.

What Happened

The Google Panda algorithm was first deployed in February of 2011 and effected up to 12% of search results, most notably for us – our website. The algorithm targeted low quality websites with thin content, high ad to content ratios and other quality signals such as content farms. We got smoked by this algorithm and continued to get dinged each time a new version of Panda was released to the wild.

panda1

I’ve read others say that once you get hit by Panda once, you somewhat flatten out and it doesn’t keep hurting you. My perspective on that is different. Our website continually got hit and each time it took a good portion of our traffic – anywhere from 5-20% of whatever the current level of traffic happened to be. Now, this was our own fault mind you. Some of it was because we were lackadaisical in changing our content from standard, un-unique, nearly duplicate content on nearly all of our city/state/zip code pages and some was because I was still pumping out guest blogs which were of the same, poor quality as our website content. I take full responsibility.

Read moreI Got us Pandalized. Then We Got Out. Here’s How.

Google Pigeon Theory

No Pigeon

I’ve had this theory for a little while now and I’m going to finally let it out of the box. Inspired by a great read on Andrew Shotland’s blog, he spits a few theories of his own. Andrew has been most vocal about how crappy the Pigeon algortithm has been and that G needs to clean it up. One of his theories on why the SERP’s are so bad is the “the combination of overweighting of Google’s brand algorithm and the narrowing of the radius for many local queries could have pushed some of these big brands out of the local packs”.

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Pigeon Local Results are Useless

via http://www.questioningcreatives.com/mark-chambers/
via http://www.questioningcreatives.com/mark-chambers/

What is Pigeon 

By now, we all know what Pigeon is about. A quick recap for those who are behind….On July 24th, Google launched a new local algorithm, later dubbed Pigeon by Search Engine Land. Results are still coming in though it appears the algorithm is a huge shake up in local search as both Google Maps and Web results were impacted. It is supposed to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results which are more closely tied to traditional web search ranking signals. (I will prove later why I think this is bullshit.) As of now, Pigeon has only rolled out to US results though it will most likely roll out to other countries and languages in the near future.

Read morePigeon Local Results are Useless