Weekly SEO news

29 July 2014 - Issue #640
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Some days ago, Google released a significant update of its local search algorithm. The unofficial name of that update is "Pigeon". The algorithm update changes the local search results on Google. How does this affect your rankings and what do you have to do?

In the news: Marc Zuckerberg talks about Facebook Search, Google announces a new feature for mobile local search and dynamic sitelinks, Baidu has 500 million active mobile users, and more.

Special announcement: the German version of SEOprofiler is going to be released in August.

Table of contents:

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Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google releases an algorithm update for local search results

Some days ago, Google released a significant update of its local search algorithm. The unofficial name of that update is "Pigeon". The algorithm update changes the local search results on Google. How does this affect your rankings and what do you have to do?

Google pigeonWhat has changed with the Pigeon update?

Google aims to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. The changes are visibly on the regular web search results page and the results page of Google Maps.

Although Google did not reveal the details, the new ranking algorithm now uses ranking signals that are used in regular web search. The local search results are tied more closely to the regular web search ranking signals.

Google also tried to improve the distance and location ranking parameters.

How will this change affect your website rankings?

The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results. If your website does not target the USA, you probably won't see any changes.

So far, the new algorithm has led to the following changes:

  • Local directory sites get better visibility in Google's search results. For example, Yelp.com pages now can be seen at the top of the search results if the search query contains the word "Yelp".
  • For some searches (hotels, restaurants), individual local businesses seem to be listed in the carousel at the top of the search results page. Below that, you will get directory style web pages. Individual local business pages are moved to result page two.
  • For other searches (pizza delivery), the first results page mainly shows individual businesses.
If your local business website has strong SEO signals (good content, many backlinks, mentions on social networks) then this algorithm update can lead to higher rankings.

If your website does not have these strong SEO signals, it's likely that your website will be outranked by other sites.

How to get the SEO signals that are needed for the new algorithm

It's no longer enough to be located in the right place if you want to appear in Google's local search results. If you want to get high rankings, your website needs good content, good backlinks and mentions on social networks.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to get this strong SEO signals. SEOprofiler is a proven SEO tool that will help you to get your website on Google's first result page.

If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now. You can try SEOprofiler 100% risk-free. Create your trial account now. You'll quickly see that SEOprofiler can help you to improve your website rankings a lot:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Zuckerberg: search for Facebook is going to be a multiyear voyage
"There’s just so much content that’s unique to the Facebook ecosystem [...]We can answer questions for you that really no other service can. [...]

Recent improvements in mobile search have caused the number to average daily searches to pass 1 billion again."


GoogleGoogle announces local explore feature for mobile

"Tap the new Explore button at the bottom right corner of your map to get a quick look at what’s nearby (where available). With Explore as your guide, you’ll see different places and activities that adapt to each area and moment throughout your day."


Baidu’s search engine reaches 500 million active users on mobile

"With a strong focus on mobile – now that China’s mobile internet users outnumber its PC web users – Baidu CEO Robin Li hailed the fact that the company’s 'mobile revenue, which is largely comprised of mobile search revenue, accounts for 30 percent of our total revenue.' [...]

Baidu’s mobile search service grew to over 500 million monthly active users (MAUs) in June, which is a new high. He partly attributed the growth to a recently redesigned mobile search homepage, as well as to new content partnerships that result in more embedded information available at a glance in search results."


GoogleGoogle: introducing dynamic sitelinks

"We’re introducing dynamic sitelinks: automatically generated sitelinks that appear below your ad text, connecting potential customers to relevant pages on your website more easily. [...]

The sitelinks you set up will always show, except for the few instances when the dynamic sitelink might perform better. [...]

Clicks on dynamic sitelinks are free -- you’ll still be charged for clicks on the headline of your ad and other ad extensions. And while they typically boost the average performance of an ad, advertisers always have the option to disable."

Google shows images next to search answers

"I mentioned in a previous post that Google answers complicated questions using information from web pages. Now Google also shows images next to the relevant snippets."

Search engine newslets
  • “Let me Google that for you” bill aims to replace government agency with Google Search.
  • 'Ask me anything' with Google's Jon Wiley.
  • Foursquare: it's time to be open about metrics.
  • Street View now available in Serbia.
  • The Weird Al Yankovic social media case study.
3. Recommended resources

Everything you need

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  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • and much more.

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4. Previous articles
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Copyright 2014 Axandra GmbH, Nordring 21, D-56424 Staudt. Managing directors: Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Amtsgericht Montabaur, 6 HRB 6339. Publish our newsletter articles on your own website.

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