Brightlocal, the SEO Software Company conducted a survey on local SEO industry and revealed that on-site SEO and Google+ optimization are the two most in-demand SEO services.
The survey, which was conducted between January 20 and February 20 of 2013, evaluated the health and nature of local SEO industry. It focused on five key areas:
- Agency size and turnover
- Clients and industries
Business owners have been using Google places to reach out to local customers, more efficiently. Google has now launched a dedicated application for iPhone and iPod Touch, which will enable business owners to manage their Google Places For Business listing.
There's however no official announcement about the application, but iClarified blog was the first to reveal it. The application is available for free and shows up as Google+ Local on iTunes App Store.
Now users can review a place on Google Maps as: "poor – fair," “good,” “very good,” or "excellent".
As announced on Google+, Google’s Megan Stevenson said that they have rolled out the updated rating scale which allows for giving easier and highly accurate reviews. Her post said- "It’s easier than ever to write accurate, useful reviews on Google+ Local, thanks to the updated rating scale we rolled out. If you want to rate the food at a restaurant, or the quality of a mechanic, just choose: "poor – fair," “good,” “very good,” or "excellent".
It seems Google is moving steadily ahead with its plan to integrate all its services with Google+. The latest integration being Google+ Pages showing up in Places search results. As reported by Mike Blumenthal of Blumenthals.com posted about what was showing up in Google’s local results.
Google's road to local has just been altered, and the local search stakes have been raised by the search engine in Google Places. These changes in the local results SERPs on Google search was announced by Google recently.
It is time to capitalize on the local search. With mobile usage increasing and several other behavioral changes among the consumers, local search is a big business opportunity now. MDG Advertising has prepared an ifographic on the same titled – "Local Search Evolved", here it is:
Do you agree with the observations on this infographic? Share your views below.
If your business is on Google Places, then the address and related information will be updated automatically with the information that Google will gather from users and “third parties/trusted sources.” This was announced by Google on the LatLong Blog recently and it stated that the update will be done automatically if they think that the information is more accurate and up to date than the Places Dashboard.
Google says, “We’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner – even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know – or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places – the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change.”
Google has added that business owners can always log in to their Google Places account and make further edits, if the information provided in incorrect or incomplete. Also these updates will have no effect whatsoever on the online ads from business owners using AdWords or AdWords Express programs.
Why Was This Needed?
Every SEO seems to have different views about the nature of our industry, ranging from “exciting” to “dynamic” to “ever changing”. Despite these conflicting views on the over all nature, it is an undeniable fact that the local online advertising market has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years.
Google has been working on the look of all its services- Gmail, Maps and everything. The purpose is to integrate the look of all products with with Google+. Now, it's Google Places that has been revamped by Google. The new look is crisper, and the off site reviews have been removed.
It appears, in the Google Places search result, of the main searches, the third part reviews whilst still being linked to the result are not taken into consideration for the total reviews. Google's own reviews are only being depicted in the review count.