Google’s Newest Local SEO Search Algorithm

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 21, 2016

Google is actually not very good about explaining its algorithm changes to the general public. As a private company, Google actually has no reason to explain itself if it does not want to. When it recently changed its local search engine optimization algorithm to the Pigeon format, it included many updates that were not highly publicized. However, these smaller changes may affect the way that you organize your online business structure even more than the Pigeon update. Here are some of the things that you need to know about the newest local search engine optimization algorithm.

Pay attention to the “snack packs.”

The so-called snack packs are the number of results that Google returns when a user looks up a local query. These snack packs used to consist of seven businesses. Since the most recent changes in the Google Pigeon platform, the snack pack now only includes three local businesses. This definitely has an effect on how you should organize your search engine optimization when dealing with local search.

First of all, you must be incredibly precise with your location. Make sure that all of your citations list your business’ street name and apartment or suite number exactly. Even the slightest change can cause Google to look at your business as two separate entities on two separate platforms. Secondly, organize your keyword structure behind this precise citation. We will go over exactly how to do this later in the article.

Make sure that you are organizing your marketing to fit the mobile platform.

A huge reason behind the change from a seven list snack pack to a three list snack pack was the increase in mobile commerce. Three businesses fit much better on a mobile screen than seven businesses did. Google also hypothesized that people in their cars looking up a business would only need a few choices that were very close to their actual location. Because Google is moving towards the mobile platform as its primary functionality, desktop results were also changed.

This means that you must organize your marketing strategy primarily for the mobile platform. The desktop is quickly becoming the secondary concern for the major search engines. As a matter of fact, 2016 is expected to be the year that mobile commerce actually overtakes desktop commerce. If this comes to pass, you can bet that the major search engines will continue their trend of making local search fit the mobile platform. Adjust your marketing accordingly by becoming even more precise with your citations and your inbound links.

Organize your keyword structure according to your citations.

Another huge technique that you should employ is the organization of your keyword structure according to your new citations. For instance, if you find that listing your street name in your citations helps your ranking, putting that street name in your tags should help it even more. The Google Pigeon update loves to see consistency within your tags, citations and keywords. The more precise, the better.

Make sure that you create localized tags for all of your audiovisual multimedia as well. Every picture and every video that you put on your website has the ability to be indexed by the major search engines. As a matter of fact, doing this will place you in more than one list. You will have the chance to increase your ubiquity in the major search engines. If you are successful in this, you will actually increase your trust factor within Google as well, speeding up your rise to the top of search rankings.