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How Does Local Search Compete On The Global Market?

Ryan Eisenbart - Thursday, December 04, 2014

How Does Local Search Compete On The Global Market?

With the many recent changes that Google has made to its search engine algorithm, some online businesses are wondering if there is a benefit to this change, or if it has disrupted the accepted order to online marketing. The truth is that although the results appear to be mixed, this does point out some important flaws in prior tactics to drive site traffic and business.

Accentuating The Positive

One of the boosts that has been noted, although not unanimously, is that local businesses are seeing stronger rankings in search results. This is particularly true for places which look to location specific visibility, such as through Yelp and UrbanSpoon, for better promotion of site traffic and actual customer conversion. Since the Pigeon algorithm is considering user location in generating results, it is more likely that companies within that region will spring to the forefront.

The lack of consistency does seem confusing, since local businessesthat are not using region specific promotional sites are not always seeing this climb in rankings. Part of this may be due to the process of organic linkage that the Pigeon algorithm uses. Another point to consider is that some areas have less information to offer Google, and thus seem to be excluded from location based rankings.

Although Google is not providing further input on the continual updates of the programming, it is hoped that these issues will be worked out in time, as the algorithm gathers greater information on regions.

Eliminating The Negative

Interestingly, even feedback that shows frustration at location rankings in search results has had a positive upside. Part of what the new algorithm has shown is that tactics for boosting rankings may not be in keeping with best practices for online marketing. When businesses are too strongly focused on their level within the search results, they can also become less focused on the value of the content that is being offered to the consumer.

In this way, the negative perception of Pigeon has also led to a realization that some marketing strategies will need to be reworked. The result is that there is a greater return to value, integrity, and honesty in the online marketing process, and this benefits both businesses and the user.

Keywords will still be important to online content, but changes that will include citing locations, regions, and a focus on the organic nature of a search will also move to the forefront. This creates a resurgence of best practices for online marketing and a return to fair competition.

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