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local-strategy-seoThere was a time when local SEO was not considered too important for businesses. However, things have changed a lot in the past few years with the rise of wearables and smartphones that keep a track of the location data. Google has also changed a lot over the years especially with regards to the importance of local SEO.

While it is true that the Pigeon algorithm update of 2014 (directed at local SEO) did not cause as much concern as was the case with Panda and Penguin, the truth is that Google continues to focus heavily on local businesses and local SEO.

There is no denying the fact that the Google algorithm places a plot of importance on the authority and history of a brand but with the growing importance of local businesses, Google is also changing its algorithm for local search. The latest algorithm changes are directed towards enabling small businesses to get more visibility in the search results. Most of the local SEO experts and after speaking with the owner of Success Rank, agree that the Pigeon update is only first of the many new future updates solely focused on local search results.

Local SEO is only going to grow in importance as Google focuses more on delivering personalized results. The search engine already serves customized results for most of the queries. Also, the algorithm takes into account the geographic location as well as the search history of the user when returning results for logged in users. Google is always collecting more data to make its algorithms more sophisticated and return more personalized results with focus on local results.

As you may be aware, mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic and it will continue to grow as more and more people all over the world connect to the Internet using the computers in their pockets. Another interesting aspect of search on smart phones and tablets is that most of the searches on mobile phones are made while on the go. Also, wearables such as Samsung Gear watch and Apple watch are only going to grow with time which means that users are going to use searches on these mobile platforms on a more frequent basis.

It is estimated that geographic location of the searcher is going to play a huge role in the local results with the growth of wearables. In other words, results for local searches are going to be hyper local as search engines such as Google get more data and fine tune the search results.

Google has always stated that its long-term is goal is to become an answer engine. It means that Google is slowly moving towards displaying only a single search result for the query made by the user. It has already taken small steps by including data from knowledge graph and various other carousels in its search results over the organic results.

Also, bigger companies are taking over the SERPs which mean that visibility is going to drop further for most of the businesses. However, local SEO presents a lucrative opportunity for businesses to get more visibility in the search results as search engines focus more on delivering high quality local search results.

Tips for Local SEO

Local citation is the most important factor when it comes to local search results. You need to ensure that the business information including name of the business, address of the business, and phone number of the business are consistent across various local platforms such as Trip Advisor, Yelp and other niche relevant local directories. Discrepancy between various sources erodes local authority.

Back links from local websites that focus on local information and local events also play an important role in the local search engine results. You should focus on getting published on the local websites.

You should also encourage the users to leave positive results on various review websites such as Yelp and other similar review websites. These websites are going to be increasingly relevant in influencing the search results.

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