Recent key changes to local search

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With the busy retail period approaching, an increasing number of users will depend on local search to find shops, restaurants, bars and businesses near them. Recently, Google made a number of changes to local search; find out more about each change in our blog post:

Google Hawk

In the past, local search had been particularly problematic for similar businesses operating within a close proximity to each other. We’re well aware of Google’s crusade against duplicate content and it’s the same scenario with local search.

Recognising the potential for businesses to dominate local search results by creating multiple listings for their business, Google’s local search filters are designed to filter out duplicates. The only problem is that Google was identifying some businesses as duplicates when they were in no way affiliated.

For example, one of two different hairdressers operating in the same street may be omitted simply because of their physical location. Despite having a different web address and phone number, their closeness would see them penalised in the local search results through no fault of their own.

The Hawk update is changing this by making the proximity feature of the algorithm smarter, delivering more accurate results for both users and businesses.

Q&A features on Google Maps

The latest initiative to improve the overall user local search experience is the inclusion of a question and answer functionality in Google Maps. It allows users to ask questions about a particular business and gives owners a chance to respond.

Whether it’s asking about the availability of high chairs in a restaurant or late checkout at a hotel, the questions can help attract more visitors to your business, as others will be better informed. It’s import to answer the questions appropriately to provide the most information possible, as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer may not be enough.

Users can vote for the most useful questions, making them more likely to appear in local search results — so it’s important to get your answers right!

Mediaworks can help you increase your overall ranking on local search, contact us below to find out how we can help your business.


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