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Some Google changes that have transformed the way SEO serve clients

by Carlo Pandian | 05.09.2013
Think about the state of search 2 years ago and you can see that the SEO landscape produces far fewer challenges now than it did before.   The way we used to work has come to an end and now we can finally ask ourselves more complex questions and learn more new and exciting aspects surrounding SEO.

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Google is no longer an engine dominated by the universal results pages (the 10 block results that are served after you hit the “search” button after you typed a query). Instead it has transformed itself into a mutant platform where a mix of results appear, here’s a list:

  • Google local
  • Google Authorship
  • Knowledge graph
  • Google carousel
  • Videos
  • Images
  • News

3 years ago a query such as “things to do in London” would return a completely different page where universal results were predominant. Now there’s a carousel showing points of interests, which give different rankings compared to classic SEO metrics, if you choose to click on a picture of where you would like to go.

Google has transformed significantly in the way that websites rank and the following are some personal considerations from the last few months:

  • Local business will rank only in Google Maps or Google carousel
  • You need a silos of content in order to rank for certain terms, if you don’t have this forget to rank.
  • Don’t try to force the Google algorithm with your link building activities. When this will change, you may be seriously in trouble.
  • Some keywords return local results while others universal ones
  • Universal results in local searches are normally owned by big media outlets
  • Google has acquired a patent that serves results taking into account the status of the users (mobile visitors, PC or tablet). That’s why we should start to think of your organic visitors who are either on the move or sat in the office.

A local small business SEO campaign targeting the keyword “things to do in London” would need to achieve rankings in the Google local results instead of the universal ones.

This also introduces new ways of driving traffic to the site that was more pertinent to online PR people. Link builders are now in charge of getting visibility in those pages that are ranking for valuable terms for the business. They also need to acquire relevant and high quality links from these pages.

Let’s take the example of a campaign that involves SEO and link building targeting – “accountant in new York”.  For SEO you should focus on getting visibility at the top of Google maps local results, while in terms of link building you should focus on being listed in the main properties and directories appearing for this term, in this case Yelp, Superpages and other directories.

Two Roads.

In conclusion, there are two options for the SEO specialist: embrace a life long learning or proceed in the race without looking at what happened on your track. Forget the old way you think and question again why websites are ranking to come up with stronger decisions when optimising a website.