Google’s recent focus on improving local search has not only given consumers more relevant results, it has also given small businesses more exposure to consumers in their neighbouring areas.
With local search gaining momentum, small businesses will now have a fighting chance to compete with the big boys, especially those conducting content marketing, as Google’s new search algorithm puts local search results over large enterprise brands.
Although Google is yet to give the new algorithm a name, Search Engine Land has dubbed it “Pigeon” – a reference to how pigeons always fly back home.
According to industry experts, Google’s upcoming changes are more focused towards making the search results mobile friendly as the traffic momentum is shifting towards smartphones & tablets ( read Forecast: Google To Lose $1.4B In PC Revs As Search Shifts To Mobile ) which means factors like locations & distance would now hold more value in the search result query. The algorithm is also closely tied to other features, such as Google’s Knowledge Graph.
At this stage it is difficult to determine the extent that this update will have on search results, but it is apparent across both Google Search and Google Maps. Other algorithmic updates such as Google Panda and Google Penguin, which were focused on improving the quality of content, have had huge impacts on search results.
For instance, the Google Panda 4.0 update that was rolled out earlier this year in May effected 7.5 per cent of all English search queries.
Small businesses wanting to make the most of these new changes need to prove to Google and online consumers that they are legitimate businesses with a good product or service, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by setting up a local publicity & content strategy.
Now the advantage with the Digital PR firms is that they have strong resources for creating quality content along with local audience insights that can offer them huge advantage over other digital solution providers when it comes to leveraging Google Search. Quality Digital PR content along with a focussed social media campaign & geo specific mobile search can do wonders for any small or medium size brand without causing a hole in their pocket.
Also read: Decoding Digital PR Strategy in India