Google local has always been a very muddled place to optimize for search engine results because Google never seemed to put a lot of emphasis on making it straight-forward to use. It has made providing local search engine optimization one of the trickiest services I have ever provided in my 20 year SEO career. Fortunately, it seems Google has made local more of a focus lately which is great news; however, the changes have meant instability in rankings, reporting of rankings, and the addition of some new features. The changes are so many, in fact, this is a significant list of the best articles outlining each one; I hate repeating already great content.
- Is Google Doubling Down on Local? Yes, Now What?
- Thoughts on the Recent Rollout of Aggregate Reviews, Snippets & Critic Reviews in Google SERPs
- Google Updates Mobile Rich Snippet Display with Pricing Information
- Google Testing Mobile Local Knowledge Panel on Desktop
- Google Testing Click to Call on Organic General Local Queries
What bears the most interest to the bottom-line are the updates to actual search results. In this article by Joy Hawkins, it has become apparent that Google is beginning (finally) to crack down on local business profiles that are using nefarious tactics to succeed. This has resulted in one of two significant shake-ups in search results in just the past month. The second one that comes to mind is
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