On February 3rd, Google announced that it had made 17 search quality updates during the month of January. You can find the complete list here, but here’s a few that I feel are the most important for local search marketing:
- Fresher results – A minor update to their original freshness update from November that is intended to provide the most relevant and fresh results.
- High-quality sites algorithm improvements – A tweak to their already infamous Panda Update, that seeks out high-quality websites and tries to eliminate content scrapers and aggregators from their results.
- More relevant related searches – A much needed improvement to the “suggested searches” that show up at the bottom of their search results page
How fresh is your content?
Google’s made it very apparent that freshness and new content is now a major factor in how it ranks websites and how relevant they are to your search today. Keeping up a well planned and consistent website update and blog strategy are one of the keys to improving or maintaining your search engine rankings.
How good is your content?
If you seek out the ranking factors in Google for 2012, you’re likely to come across the phrase “Quality Content” on just about every website or blog you read. While it’s different for every industry, quality content is related to your site’s overall theme, uses proper spelling, punctuation and grammar, and is considered to be unique when compared to other sites the search engines find throughout the web.
As a search engine marketer for local business, it’s always pained me to see national brands showing up in the suggested searches that include a place name. Since this update, I’ve seen positive changes in many local verticals that show great improvement in Keeping it Local!