Local SEO and Google updates
It may be hard for those not familiar with SEO to understand the impact of an algorithm change Google, and why their sites may have seen a huge shift in web traffic (usually just temporary, if you’re working with the right team).

But the truth is, no one outside of Google truly knows everything that goes into their algorithms, and what each change means – at least not at first.

This makes sense, since the last thing Google wants is for SEOs to “game” the system, by using tricks designed to fool the search engines into ranking sites more highly than they should. Google is all about user experience – the searcher finding exactly what he or she needs that answers their query. This can’t happen if SEOs are using what we call “Black Hat” techniques to send users to their own sites that do not meet the precise needs of the searcher, or do so in deceptive ways (from Google’s perspective).

The most recent occurrence was just a few days ago, and had local SEOs buzzing in a big time way. Over the last week or so, without any announcement (Google sometimes does, and sometimes doesn’t, announce major shifts) Google made a significant algorithmic change that alters how the local results rank in both Google Maps and the local packs in web search.

Moz.com, a huge resource for SEO professionals, shows the shift on the 15th of May. The Local Search Forums had tons of local SEO experts documenting the change. Major voices in the industry such as Mike Blumenthal called the location results screwy and the forums simply lit up around this.

Most agreed that something went wrong with location detection (Google knows where you are when you conduct a search; that is how they tailor the results to your local area) and ranking of local results. It is almost believed to be a bug with Google’s location detection systems.

As usual, Google had little to say to the online world about these changes. But it seems based on some new reports in the SEO community that things are reverting back to how they were prior to the update, the update Google won’t talk about.

The point is, sometimes things happen that are completely out of the control of your SEO partner. Sometimes it takes a considerable amount of digging to find what when wrong, and then to correct it. However, we you partner with the right team, your Local SEO program can get you where you want to be. Hearing that little bell you have on the front door, letting you know another opportunity just stepped into your business.