As the person in charge of your company’s Internet Marketing, it can be a headache to keep up with with all the search engine changes and Google algorithm updates. They put out new ones all the time.
However, it’s a necessary evil to understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how it affects your business. That way, you can enjoy higher rankings and more conversions.
So, to help you stay on top of your marketing, here’s the latest on Google. Use these tips to your advantage.
Google My Business (GBM) Listing Updates
This update was released on September 6, 2017. Now, local businesses can edit their GMB listings right in the search results. It has gone fully live after testing began in July. You can improve your listing, share posts, photos, and see how many views you’re getting.
Local businesses can do a lot to take advantage of this feature. To use it, first go to Google Search and find your business. Log into your GMB account. Then, you’ll see a menu newly available above those search results. If you click on the edit button, the fields you can edit will be highlighted.
Change Your Business Information
The search results editing feature, which is usable on mobile and desktop, let’s you do several things. You can change your business information and update it to be correct (such as your business hours). You can also see when users are uploading pictures of your business.
They are making these changes to encourage business owners to be more active in their business listings, making for a better user experience. To use it to the fullest, make some posts about your business.
You can educate your consumers about your brand, special offers, and use it to build relationships. It also establishes you as an authority in your space and contributes to your overall content marketing strategy.
Photos And Events
Share photos to promote special events that you’re holding. For example, a car dealership could include pictures of the sales event live as it’s going on, to encourage more people to visit you. Then, you can use the dashboard to see updated performance metrics and see how much engagement you’re getting.
Mobile Search Card
Google has made enhancements to the mobile search card. Now, four more tabs for movie queries will appear. They plan to expand tabs for stocks and books as well.
Since 2012, when the Knowledge Graphs came out, Google has continued to make improvements with the aim of providing immediate, relevant answers to search queries. Now, users will get in-depth results, beyond what they initially searched for.
Imagine that you searched on world famous designer and architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Below is an example of the significant amount of information you would receive from your search.
Another example, showtimes, cast, and reviews tab will be present with all movie results. Now, even newer tabs include trailers, similar movies, top stories, and search. Some of the tabs will be shown all the time, while other tabs will only appear when users scroll on to the tabs themselves.
A few questions are still left about this rollout, including when the next Knowledge Graph update will come along to take this update nationwide, how the traffic to movie review websites will be affected, and when books, stocks, and other cards will get the same treatment.
Hawk – Google Algorithm Update
In August of this year Google rolled out the Hawk update. Hawk only affects local organic search results. The changes in the Google algorithm mainly revolve around how they filter and pick local results. To truly understand the meaning of this Google algorithm update, it helps to understand a bit more context.
In 2016, the Google algorithm update Possum was introduced. It filtered out listings that had the same website or phone number. Possum also filtered out results that were very close to each other geographically.
As you might imagine, this Google algorithm update causes some problems. Namely, when businesses in the same industry were in the same building or even closeby, say down the street, one of the businesses would get filtered out.
Now, businesses in the same building will still be filtered out with Hawk, but not ones that are merely down the street.
This is something businesses should be wary about. If your competitor is being searched for and you share a building, you can’t control if you show up in their search results. However, you can use offline tactics such as signs on the building or in the hallway with your promotions. Prepare for foot traffic and try to siphon off some of their traffic with your own traditional advertising.
Hotel Search and Flights
Google also upgraded how they deal with hotels and flight searches. Also in August, they added a number of features to accomplish this. Now, you can see flights and hotels in one place.
“Dates” is a new feature in Flights that lets you see insights on a calendar to visually plan your travel. The green dates are the cheapest, with the red dates being the most expensive.
There is also a Price Graph feature. This lets you see trends better and analyze the best time to buy your tickets. While these features are only available on mobile right now, they should come out on desktop before the end of the year.
Hotel Search has also gotten an update. A calendar view makes it easier to see rooms and also the price trends. The users can see date ranges on the check-in and check-out dates with the rates during their travel period.
Interactive Maps is something very unique. When users are searching for nearby airports, it will now show other airports in the area along with prices. This means users can see prices and flights that they might have previously overlooked.
This feature also works for hotels. The consequences of this feature update from the big search engine will have a ripple effects. If you operate an airport or hotel, you should understand the power of live search and results that users are now going to get. Once again, it has raised the bar in terms of what you need to do to compete.
Big Takeaways Regarding Google Algorithm Updates
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is ever evolving. The recent changes to the algorithm mean that you want to keep a sharp eye out for your Google My Business (GMB) listings. Make sure potential visitors and customers get the information they need right away. Use photos, posts, and view tracking to make sure you’re responding quickly in real time to your market.
When it comes to search engines, organic results are still incredibly effective. If you have any sort of local business, the recent changes in the algorithm from Google will affect you the most. So keep a close eye on them and invest appropriately to stay on top of it.