SEO For Local Search
The Panda Update was launched on February 24th 2011 and was known as the (Farmer Update) because people published dozens of low-quality, keyword stuffed articles, or their site was rife with spelling errors, duplicate content etc. Google went page to page on a given site and if it thought there was significant spam it devalued the site.
The Penguin Update launched on April 24 2012 and according to Google "Penguin is an important algorithm change targeted at web-spam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines.” This effected sites that used link farms, has to many backlinks with the same keywords etc.
Local Search has gone Social and Mobile, integration of Maps and Mobile Search into Smartphone devices, Tablets and Vehicles through applications are skyrocketing. More people are using their Mobile devices for online access every day and this trend will continue to grow for years to come. If you are looking to drive more foot traffic to a brick and mortar store or increase the visibility of your brand, optimizing for Local Search is the right move for search engine rankings and conversions.
So what do we need to do now to make sure we clean up our sites and gain back our Organic Rankings? This is the question I get constantly emailed and phone calls on every day.
First create a link report to see what sites and keywords are used to link to you with. Here is a Tool called Open Site Explorer that will do that for you. Visit those sites that you do not want linking to you anymore and email the administrator or webmaster asking if they can remove the link pointing to your site.
Second is to do on page and off page Search Engine Optimization, then submit a webspam re inclusion form (Link at bottom of post) to Google.
There are two important factors here we are going to look at, On-page and Of-page SEO. I know you have heard about this before and I'm probably sure you know how to do this but after the Penguin update there are a few tweaks you must add to these factors in order for you to gain back your Organic listing in the SERP's
*Update, Here is a Video called "SEO for Startups in under 10 Minutes" by Maile Ohye a Developers Tech Lead at Google.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
Offsite Search Engine Optimization
After you have cleaned up the site using the Search Engine Optimizations guidelines above use the following Form from Google to explain what you have done and give an example of your efforts.Here is the link to the WebSpam Form for re-inclusion.
Ranking higher in the Organic Listings for Local Search can be achieved pretty quick as you are only competing with other Local Businesses. The use of Long-Tail Keywords also help as most of them are not as competitive as 1 and 2 word keywords. With everything going Social and Mobile, its a good idea to optimize your site for fingers and thumbs<----easy navigation.
There are much more factors in ranking a page in the organic listings and in fact Google has 200 such signals. No one knows the true algorithm except for search engines and the coders themselves. The best option is to keep up with the latest information in search engine news. Join Forums, Blogs and Social Networks that have Search Engine Marketing groups.
Remember, No true Search Engine Optimization Specialist can guarantee you first place rankings in the Organic Listings. While many claim they can, they probably could when it comes to non competitive keywords and for Local search it is much easier to rank. Let them show you results of their work and check out their following on social networks, this will give you a good idea of reputable companies!
By "Shawn Lippert"
These are the 10 Videos Webmasters must watch according to Google, Thanks to Chris Crum form WebProNews
Google Webmaster Videos
Local Business Website Design, SEO and Internet Marketing Blog
By "Shawn Lippert"