Google is continually updating the way it determines which websites get listed on the first page of relevant search engine queries. Panda and Hummingbird have taken their toll on companies of varying shapes and sizes, causing them to have to do emergency damage control and reassess how they handle local search engine marketing.
Now Google is changing its stance on guest blogging. While it was not hard to see this was coming, many small business owners have not taken the warning signs seriously and now the change is hitting with full force. As Matt Cutts noted, guest blogging as a way of getting links and boosting a site's standing in Google is now dead. Actually, it is worse than dead, because there is a real possibility Google will take note of companies that used this practice to generate a lot of links and will penalize them for doing so.
An entirely unrelated Google update that local businesses will want to be aware of is Google Carousel, a display that lists the top local companies in any given field above organic search engine results. Google has various means of determining which companies get listed, but some of the key ones are relevance, address, and average review rating. Paying attention to these factors can help you boost your company's standing online and reach more customers than you ever have before.
These are most likely not the only changes Google will make this year. Actually we guarantee it isn’t. Stay tuned to our blog for new updates that could have a bearing on your local marketing efforts and search engine results. Staying abreast of local marketing news and trends will enable you to know which local SEO tactics to use and which to avoid. It can also enable you to take advantage of new opportunities Google may bring your way to showcase your company in a positive light.