Google Algorithm Update – Small businesses around the planet are scrambling to maintain their online rankings after search giant Google changed its search algorithms.
The revamp constitutes the biggest change to Google algorithm in at least five years.
You may have already noticed your website has shifted positions – with a corresponding effect on demand for your products or services.
If you’re in business and rely on your website for business, it’s advised you check your rankings immediately.
Search engine experts around the world are recommending that companies revisit their Google strategies as most rankings would suddenly have changed based on Google algorithm. As one SEO specialist warned, “small guys have been snuffed out”.
New Google searches will often (though not always) produce a local map on the screen, and a list of several entries with red flags, referring to the map.
Many local businesses will find Google doesn’t position their entries as high as previously, meaning potential customers will have to scroll further down the pages of results to find them.
Google product manager Jackie Bavaro announced Place Search on Wednesday, describing it as a new kind of local search result that organises information around places, clustering search results around locations that enable users to more easily make comparisons.
”Place Search results will begin appearing automatically on Google when we predict you’re looking for local information. In addition, you’ll find a new link for ‘Places’ in the left-hand panel of the search results page so you can switch to these results whenever you want.”
Locally, there will be Australian winners. More Yellow Pages advertisers will get exposure for a single local search – good news for Sensis, the official Australian supplier of data to Google.
The changes reinforce the need for businesses to optimise their online presence, making sure they have a page on their website containing their physical address, phone numbers and other items such as reviews.
A business that previously came up fourth on a list in response to a Google search, might now have 10 map-based entries above it, relegating it to 14th position on the list, pushing it below what search engine experts call ”the fold”, the line delineating what is immediately viewable on most computer screens.
Businesses above the fold are far more likely to gain the attention and custom of people conducting a Google search.
Website Mashable.com says Google has been adding an increasing number of location-based search features.
Google Places Winners & Losers
The change: Google Places allows business owners to create a free profile containing address information. With the recent changes some location sensitive search results now feature Google Places listings ahead of organic search results or, in some cases, integrated into the organic results themselves.
Why this matters: For some searches, the previously top ranking organic results are now receiving less prominence, and therefore less traffic. Of the three changes this is by far the most important.
Potential winners: Businesses with a physical location and a reasonably developed Google Places listing.
Potential losers: Large national sites who were previously able to dominate search results through significant SEO budgets, directory sites who were able to dominate search results at the expense of actual providers and online stores and other businesses who are not able to claim a Google Places page.
Additionally, Google is turning to mobile services to help curb its reliance on personal-computer web queries.
The company faces rising competition for online advertising dollars from Facebook and Microsoft.
If you want to discuss the full ramifications of these changes to your business, email Stewart Dawes via firstname.lastname@example.org