What is another month without big Google changes?
I am not sure if you have kept up with the ever changing round and round with Google in the past couple years.
At first they scared webmasters away from linking. And most recent studies show of course linking is as important if not more than ever.
Comparing SEO Ranking Factors From 2013 To 2014 By Marcus Tober from Search Marketing Expo - SMX
The top effective activities are all social seo/ linking related.
Then while they did that they changed what Google looked like. The screen space available for organic search shrunk.
Google created a multi tiered personal social search engine. Google Plus becoming a social layer on top of search for anyone signed into Google.
They started heavily favoring Google properties and seemed to go away from a 2004 admonition from Larry Page that "if you have to come back to Google we have failed". To a more current behavior that might indicate that they never want you to leave, except for Adword clicks.
The SERPS became littered with Ads, Local/Maps, Organic, News, Photos, Videos and Knowledge posts.
This seemed to make sense to me especially locally, as mom and pops simply were not going to be persuaded into adding higher level programming like schema let alone sprint to get their site mobile friendly.
I predicted this years ago as I called the then first iteration of Google Local the new digital Yellow Pages.
Even the New is Old is New Ad Nauseum
So Google Maps/Places which was renamed Google Plus Local which is now Google My Business, was prominently displayed in most any local search.
By the way what is local search? A local geography searched with a keyword. Like San Diego Realtor, or San Diego Chiropractor.
This happened by a local business claiming their business by signing up in Places.Google.com which still works with the new branding and lives in Google Plus. And as I a year or so ago. The listings on page one are largely influenced by NAPS and still links.
As Google Places merged into Plus however some industry markets did not merge over as easy. With Google not certain it appears of a business keyword based on a process and or a locality. Meanwhile all along it appeared at least in some ways Google had gone back to its old ways of an even partership and trade with the Webmaster. How so?
If we would claim authorship with a new age way of trading links with Google. We would get our happy face thumbnail next to our postings. Or we would get screen space as a publisher in the SERPS.
We the webmaster were rewarded with a higher clickthru rate because of the added color next to our SERP. Yes shiny objects are still working online.
Then Google lost its Chief of Plus and 1000 employees from Plus were abruptly relocated.
And it seems before the engines of change had even cooled. This really cool thumbnail benefit was taken from us.
Pigeon Poop or an Eagles Flight?
Then there was the most recent Google Big Algo change, Pigeon last week....
Back to the Future
So far and unless there is a roll back then the SERPS look like they did two or three years ago. Well kind of. Todays local SERPS are Adwords then Organic. With maybe some sprinkling in of news, photos and videos. More old style organic it seems in corelation with Google Adword costs.
Many local searches have gone back to the days of yore with no "maps packs". Many Realtors , lawyers and other local businesses, have spent a ton of cash to get into the local searches, only to have those 7 packs disappear. It seems the money keywords have turned organic while the 7 packs are there still for midrange keywords as measured by Adword pricing. I did a quick video for you as the news broke last week.
Moz did a survey of industries hit.It appears for big money words that they can get in Adwords, Google dropped the seven pack and is favoring bigger brands and reputation aggragator sites like Yelp. Moz is declaring that they are seeing 60% less seven packs. Many industry insiders have backed off that number a bit as the results settle. But it does seem on the surface that the more profitable keywords are the ones hit.
This is a Seven Pack:
So what is the takeaway? You can count on Spider Juice Technologies to be out front on the ever changing landscape of all that is search and social. The advice I am giving to concerned webmasters is to hold tight as it is important not to throw more variables into a problem.
But if it sticks this way there are some tricks to play that runs parallel with our social seo strategies. Call us at 310 533 9145 for an action plan for your business and website needs.