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Is Google A Good Neighbor When It Comes to Local Search?

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Presentation slides from the 2014 Apartment Internet Marketing Conference keynote given by Search Engine Land's Founding Editor, Danny Sullivan.

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Is Google A Good Neighbor When It Comes to Local Search?

  1. 1. IS GOOGLE A GOOD NEIGHBOR? Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor, &
  2. 2. In This Talk… • Google: The biggest house on the block • What’s up with all that construction: Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird? • Is Google trying to price you out of the neighborhood? • What is the impact of mobile? • What’s up with wearables & search? @dannysullivan
  3. 3. Google: The Neighbor You Can’t Ignore @dannysullivan
  4. 4. Google & The Search Habit • Google is not only way people find apartments, but it is: • a primary search habit for any type of search • unlikely to be unseated by any challenger • So, what is Google up to lately and what’s in store for the future? @dannysullivan
  5. 5. Of Panda, Penguin & Hummingbirds • Is Google out to get people with all these animal actions? • what are these animal actions? • The goal is really to improve search results because ultimately, Google works for searchers, not publishers @dannysullivan
  6. 6. Behind The Construction…. @dannysullivan
  7. 7. Panda: Targeting “Thin” Content • Launched Feb. 2011, designed to keep low-quality or “thin” content from ranking • Roughly every month, Google filters everything though Panda to trap new stuff & free others • If goal was to just help Google, it hurt top Google partners like Demand Media • Conspiracy threat: LOW @dannysullivan
  8. 8. Penguin: Targeting Link Spam • Launched April 2012, meant to fight spam - especially bad links • Every 6 months or so, Google filters everything though Penguin to find spam regular systems miss • Did Google really benefit? For any questionable sites that lost ranks, others rose up • Conspiracy threat: LOW • Crazy link rule annoyance factor: HIGH @dannysullivan
  9. 9. Link Rule Insanity • Paid links have long been warned against… • But it’s more complicated as native advertising & native ads have grown • Widgets get popular, so Google warns against them • Infographics get popular, so Google warns against them • Guest posting gets popular, so Google warns against “blogging for links” @dannysullivan
  10. 10. Link Rule Insanity • Feels safer now not to link to anyone or to “nofollow” everything • Feels insane Google punishes for bad links rather than simply discounts credit @dannysullivan
  11. 11. Hummingbird: The New Engine In Google’s Search Engine • Announced in Sept. 2013, an entire rebuild of Google’s search engine • Panda & Penguin are parts of that engine • New engine can better tap into “signals” or “fuel” to rank results • A major change is improved support for “entities” and “entity search” @dannysullivan
  12. 12. Entities & Entity Search • People, Places & Things @dannysullivan
  13. 13. Entities & Entity Search @dannysullivan EXAMPLE: • A search for “obama” in the past would look for those letters in that order • With entity search, Obama is understood as a person that can be connected to other people and various facts…. • Google (& Bing) are learning to search not just for matching patterns of letters
  14. 14. Optimizing For Entity Search • Make use of local “structured markup” meta data • Mainly location now but more may come @dannysullivan
  15. 15. Establish Authority via Authorship • Use rel=“author” markup on blog posts • Use authorship on pages with real authors; don’t fake it for listings @dannysullivan
  16. 16. Google+ Local • Use Google+ for your business • Big impact on personalized results; you rank better if “friends” with people • Yes, Google+ might go away or change but local listings will still remain crucial… @dannysullivan
  17. 17. Real Conspiracy: Ads, Ads, Ads! @dannysullivan
  18. 18. Then Again, Bing’s In On It Too @dannysullivan
  19. 19. Fear The Knowledge Graph Carousel? • What’s happening with hotels may be the future for apartments…. @dannysullivan
  20. 20. Paid Inclusion • Hotel Finder is free, based largely on Google+ Local but with ad integration • Future could be like Google Shopping, pay-to-play @dannysullivan
  21. 21. Moving On To Mobile… • Everyone’s talking about a “mobile first” world • You don’t need a mobile site to rank better, but… • A site with problems for smartphone searches on Google may not rank as well • More important: knowing how to react in “Always On” mobile search world… @dannysullivan
  22. 22. Can You Handle The Calls? @dannysullivan
  23. 23. Soft Landing For Mobile Visitors? @dannysullivan • Click-to-call? • Mobile-friendly version of site? • App for repeat visitors?
  24. 24. The Wearable Search • Notifications on your phone • On your wrist • And even in your eyes… @dannysullivan
  25. 25. Where Wearables May Go • People may not flock to Glass but nearly 1/2 like idea of smartwatches • “Agents” like Google Now & Cortana getting smarter at predictive search • Location “gating” likely key in future @dannysullivan
  26. 26. Takeaways • Google will keep working to reward “brands” - big or small • Google needs brands - make yourself essential • Expect the “free” space to diminish; Pay to Play • Structured data may offer new & perhaps better targeted prospects • Deliver content that a mobile audience wants • Wearables illustrate that search isn’t just keywords in a box on Google; it’s any method people seek information @dannysullivan
  27. 27. Links & Resources Articles & Links: • How To Tell Search Engines What “Entities” Are On Your Web Pages • Search Engine Land’s Guide to Schema & Markup • Google: Structured Data Guide For Organizations • 5 Tips To Kill The Competition In Local Search • Study: 61 Percent Of Mobile Callers Ready To Convert • The Future Of Advertising In Your Eyes Today: Google Glass & Field Trip • Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech download this deck: