Let’s talk Pigeon – who has seen changes in traffic or rankings? Any industries seeing big gains or losses?
@marcusbowlerhat Not a huge difference in the UK. Still a lot of spammy results. More important than ever to have citations optimised for users.
@tannerpetroff I’ve noticed significant changes in the results with local packs, but only minor dips/gains in traffic.
@hortensesoulier Saw big changes for 1 in the tourism industry (less traffic to local pages) but not confident that it’s 100% Pigeon related.
@tannerpetroff Interesting. If not Pigeon related, do you think it was manual action or algorithmic?
@hortensesoulier No manual action but I’m thinking seasonality, ripples from lesser spend on display/PPC. Mobile traffic took a big hit. Organic traffic was the most impacted though and especially mobile.
@ericlanderseo Only observations are when packs get smaller in SERPs to expose problems where multiple listings show (verified and unverified).
@marcusbowlerhat Yep, more important than ever to have the authoritative citations dialled in and 100% consistent.
@matthewayoung Not much to report with my clients specifically, but that doesnt mean there werent changes. Im sure if I set my search sip to my local area, it would show more of an impact – set to US right now, smh.
@paramaya We heard from a few clients post-Pigeon who check rankings, but the fluctuation didn’t really translate to lost conversions.
Is there anything you’ve stopped doing entirely for local businesses since Pigeon?
@tannerpetroff Truth be told, I’ve stopped ignoring Google+ and hoping it would just go away.
@paramaya Not at all. We were already placing an emphasis on optimizing client listings on the top citation sites.
@matthewayoung Optimizing for local terms. Pigeon and personalization are more than picking up the slack. With Hummingbird’s conversational components and Pigeon, Google understands query without having local keywords on site.
@ericlanderseo Stopped working directly w/ Google, actually. We see stronger success leveraging @Moz Local & similar platforms. Post update, centralized listing management is far more effective than (hoping) to see Google update on its own for local. Google updates it’s algo and results, we stop working with them directly. Go figure.
@tannerpetroff Good call. Did you have negative experiences working directly with G? Or just better results elsewhere?
@ericlanderseo Better results in the form of faster updates, resolved conflicts, and (anecdotally, perhaps) ranking in small packs.
@hortensesoulier Would definitely not ignore G+ especially with increasing personalization which has a big impact on local visibility.
@d50media You may be able to ignore G+ from an SEO listing perspective, but wouldn’t recommend ignoring it for social.
@hortensesoulier Agreed, but from a local search perspective, G is a data hub and cannot be ignored if only for presence and consistency.
@matthewayoung Though G+ has its own place in SEO – search experience optimization (picked that up from #pubcon)
@bruceclayinc The job is still the same. There’s nothing our analysts have pulled back from.
@marcusbowlerhat Totally agree, nothing has really changed with regards to what you have to do. Quality is and always was important.
How do you feel on-page SEO is changing for local businesses?
@bruceclayinc Local keywords should continue to be optimized for local pages. Name, address, phone numbers should continue to be consistent.
@hortensesoulier On-page local is not about local terms anymore but structured data and consistency in business information.
@marcusbowlerhat It’s not, that’s the point. NAP on every page, optimised page titles, think of the user. Domain authority plays a bigger part.
@tannerpetroff I think site-wide optimization is more important than before, no more “title, headings & schema on just home page” business.
@ericlanderseo I’m seeing more inferred citations and 3rd party reviews being aggregated by Google *and* other sources. So, Google sees the info, infers it to be true (branded site, list of locations) & then imports that into maps. I’ve seen addresses on domains begin to create new listings on Google Maps, for example – serving as a citation. It’s spotty but believe it or not, pigeon seems to like big brands! #notnewforgoogle.
@paramaya It has always been important that sites are optimized for queries with local intent. It’s just much more important now.
@matthewayoung More of an emphasis on rich snippets now. This is a must for any local business, not to mention Google My Business as well. Ensuring proper schema markup is implemented, and testing it through the structured data tool is key. Local isnt just about on-page. So many off page things orgs can do – G+ brand page, claiming maps listings, Yelp!, etc.
@kristikellogg I wrote about the NAP some months back in this local #SEO guide — still applies.
@callmelouzander Not Local specific, but Google introduced Structured Snippets which gain you more space in the SERP. Shows G cares about structure.
@crystalware Still the same game. Local pages optimized with local keywords, NAP, schema. Presenting right content for decision validation.
Do you feel a changing weight in links or citations for local businesses?
@ericlanderseo Haven’t seen enough to draw any direction or conclusions, sadly.
@tannerpetroff At least it doesn’t seem like anything has been devalued though, right?
@ericlanderseo Not yet for us, no. It could be more a product of our clients’ markets though.
@tannerpetroff I think links and domain authority are going much further than before – AKA brands.
@d50media Yelp, Google Reviews, etc. are going to become more & more important for businesses. Those stars stick out.
@jeremyriveraseo Remember that you COULD build a 3rd party site that hosts reviews in a niche industry you operate within. Don’t forget that stars also appear for good Schema markup and use of those reviews on site.
@sonray Quality > quantity still rules in the local space. Placements that go beyond digital are the best IMO. Getting off site reviews within the service area can help get you away from centernoid basis and extend local reach.
@paramaya I think co-occurrence is becoming just as important as links and citations, especially in directory listings.
@hortensesoulier Co-occurence could definitely be a factor -is in Google Books & might be expanded.
@tannerpetroff Lots of talk of co-occurrence and co-citation lately. Any studies you can point us to?
@paramaya Not handy. Will have to find.
@bruceclayinc Importance is increasing. As mobile search continues to climb, a strong local presence (complete w/ strong links) is paramount.
@marcusbowlerhat Get involved with local businesses & organisations. Get the links & citations competitors can’t easily copy.
Has your local SEO reporting changed in recent months? Why or why not?
@ericlanderseo YES. Leverage those third party toolsets. Again, @Moz Local is great. We’ve begun using Bridg as well.
@tannerpetroff I’ve started including Clicks for Driving Directions & GMB impressions thanks to a post by @GregGifford
@ericlanderseo Reporting on local requires more than Google Places & Google Analytics – and listings *live* in SO MANY places.
@sonray Nope, still all about that traffic and conversions, no treble.
@tannerpetroff I always find CTR tough to measure accurately, regardless of what data you think you have.
@matthewayoung Yes, but not to the extent that everything has changed. Minor shifts. Then again, I dont have a lot of local clients.
@tannerpetroff Seems like most changes I make to reporting are minor shifts. Best not to shake things up too much.
@crystalware Not really, reporting is about meeting goals. A change in tactics doesn’t necessarily result in a change to the reporting.
@marcusbowlerhat not really other than putting more focus on reviews & reputation aspects. Local often just part of a bigger picture.
@paramaya Local SEO reporting has changed for specific clients but only where it informs specific business goals. Reporting hasn’t changed in response to any algorithm changes. “User is the new centroid” is only possible because people carry a location-tracking device wherever they go.
What impact do you feel changing technology/devices will have on local SEO?
@matthewayoung Mobile is a huge impact on local. Hummingbird was designed with mobile at the center. And Google drops the mic. Case and point. Majority of searches on mobile are of a local intent. This was a no brainer for Google. Also the teen demo loves voice search.
@tannerpetroff For sure. It’d be interesting to see correlation between timing of Hummingbird & # of locally focused searches.
@bruceclayinc The fact that mobile search has exceeded desktop search is definitely a game changer. SEOs have no choice but to pay a lot of attention to SEO for mobile.
@sonray I think we’re going to see a faster/greater adoption with wearables than we’ve seen with mobile.
@sonray Mobile and wearables are the ultimate in personalized search.
@tannerpetroff Glad you brought that up. I think local search will become the ultimate in personalized search in time.
@kristikellogg As wearables become more commonplace, that will also affect SEO, esp. local – only time will tell how exactly.
@marcusbowlerhat Local is all about mobile – who Google’s a taxi on there desktop? Some niches are more local than others. Google pushing voice hard in UK with TV adverts. My kids often search with voice first.
What tools do you use to help manage your local search campaigns?
@tannerpetroff I couldn’t do what I do without @whitespark or @MozLocal
@paramaya Google spreadsheets more than anything else, also @bright_local.
@marcusbowlerhat UK friendly tools are few & far between / flakey. Google search operators do the job admirably.