13 Aug Google’s Latest Major Update And How It Impacts Your Business NOW!
Google’s Latest Major Update And How It Impacts Your Business NOW!
Google has yet again, made another change to their search engine results page (SERP). It’s not surprising, however, because Google made over 500 changes in 2014 alone. This one, however, you might have noticed. As a Google user, the Maps section has ranged from 3-7 listings for a given keyword and community. On August 11, 2015, google finally released a new design for all local searches.
Below is what the SERP looked like before (7-Pack):
Below is what the new change looks like (3-Pack):
Can you notice the changes that were made to Google’s new SERP? The first major noticeable change is that Google no longer shows the business’ phone number. This is a huge issue. No longer can an end-user just call directly from Google’s website. You have to visit their site to find a phone number. All of the free, “easy right of the page” calls business owners receive by showing up on SERP Maps section has essentially been eliminated. This will lead to fewer calls to local business owners. It is now more important as ever to make sure the content, look, feel, and experience of an end-user is at the front of mind when they go to their website. The cheap easy calls from being placed on Google Maps is now over for the time being.
The second major change Google has made to their SERP are the number of results for Google Maps is now limited to 3. Now that Google has reduced the map listings number from a max of 7, some local businesses used to showing up on the first page in the Maps section are now buried in the abyss of “see more results.” As Google employees have stated in the past, the best place to hide a dead body is on Page 2 of a SERP. I feel that’s the same for the “see more results” link.
As a marketing professional working with hundreds of companies in a major metropolitan area (Chicago), there are a few things a business owner must do NOW to make themselves the obvious choice again.
- Make sure your website has quality content.
- Design your website in a flow that text-based search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing can understand. That means Search Engines still don’t read pictures. So don’t put text in your photo’s thinking it will be crawled.
- Make sure your website is mobile and tablet optimized. Don’t take your webmasters word for it, test it!
- Create accurate and consistent White-Hat local listings and links to your website.
The real estate for Page-One on a SERP just increased in value with the decrease in companies allowed on the page. Most marketing professionals aren’t happy with the latest change but know as the dealer who constantly shuffles the deck (Google), us players can’t keep trying to count the cards and rest on our laurels. We aren’t expecting any other significant algorithm changes in the coming weeks, but know that many companies will have to adapt to what has transpired.
If you have any questions on how you can create a website that can be best optimized for search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing for all digital platforms feel free to contact me.