Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16
Like Tree22Likes

Thread: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

  1. #11
    James Watt's Avatar
    James Watt is offline Top Contributor
    Member Since
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    689
    Thanks
    132
    Thanked 243 Times

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    I get your point that the ads have been getting more and more obtuse, but even in paid search you can see Google's attention to quality. The Quality Score is still a big deal, and while PPC isn't my scene anymore, I wouldn't be surprised if they still enforce their quality policies with account bans still, even if it means turning away money. I hear you about the ads, but looking at the big picture, it really does seem overly reactionary to think Google will ever eliminate quality and relevance as a primary consideration.

    When it comes to disempowering SEOs as you put it, and changing the Google Adwords Keyword Tool information, I don't know that I have a great explanation for that honestly, except to say that I don't think the future of SEO is going to look like you're expecting. SERP variation for similar keywords are already diverging, personalized results are changing the spread, location is getting a bigger and more complex role, and voice search is going to grow the long tail and shrink the 'primary' keywords we're all used to thinking of. Here's what I think: Google's primarily interested in search intent. The Keyword is not the core piece of information that describes the user, it's just the best shorthand available in the past. The core piece is the actual searcher's intent... their thoughts, their desires, their beliefs, their location, the current story of their life as it led them to type in a given search. I think part of what we're seeing with SEO in the last few years is the very beginning stages of a shift away from keywords, and towards the true heart of the searcher's intent. The most savvy marketers knew that all along, but Google's still maybe 5~10 years away from being able to make that leap themselves on a large scale.

    To put it another way: Google doesn't support SEOs, because SEOs often aren't actually helping to make the web a better place. People on this forum are, perhaps you are, but many just look for loopholes. Local maxima in the optimization equation, rather than supporting the actual trends Google's hoping to encourage. I don't know what percentage of SEOs practice actual best practices, and which are somewhere between gray and black hat (either out of ignorance or malice) but looking at the industry, I suspect we're in the minority. What Google's actually hoping to move on for the local scene at least, is to optimize towards distance, relevance, and prominence. As Google gets closer and closer to their real intended goals, all an SEO can really do, will be to help a business line up with those core signals as best as possible. Prominence especially is going to have just as much to do with offline prominence as online when things converge down the road. A few years ago you could 'fake it' with a PBN, or link rings, or comment spam, but more and more, we're 'stuck' going for the far more challenging backlinks... the ones that actually do relate to prominence. The ones that signal relationships with other businesses in the community, relationships with local non-profits, ties to the university you graduated from, getting your work featured and nominated for industry awards, being referenced in local news as an expert in your area... you get the idea. The only reason Google still uses backlinks at all, is because their results are better with than without. In other words, they're a useful shorthand for Google to guess at the actual prominence of a business, but it doesn't necessarily mean backlinks and prominence are one and the same.

    Look at it another way. Do you know what Google's AI division has been up to lately? For the first time, they've beaten the best human Go player, 4 to 1. That wasn't projected to happen for another decade. They can take in live video stream, and annotate what's going on. "There's a man with a blue jacket eating a cheese danish, while trying to fight off a hungry pigeon". Even more insane: they're to the point where you can use a neural net trained to recognize a given object, and reverse it. You can ask what it thinks a cat looks like, and it will paint you a picture of a cat. Google Translate last November was completely replaced with a far better system than the one that was developed over 10 years with 100(s) of coders. The new system? A few dozen in 9 months, and they taught it nothing about language. It learned in a far more similar way to how human infants learn. We're fast approaching an age when machine perception is as good as a human's, and where machine ability to see patterns in massive bodies of data on it's own, with little help from us, is getting better than what the most brilliant humans are capable of coding by hand. Looking at the implications for search... well, there's big change coming.

    Look, search is changing, Google is interested in making money, all of that's true, but the future of Google as an AI first company is going to be unlike anything any of us can even imagine. What you're describing as the potential dystopian future of search... a simple business directory you have to pay to appear in... well. You may be right, but to me, if I was to use a word to describe that vision, it would be 'unimaginative'. Many of the signals Google looks for now I think will always be important in a way, but it's going to change in really big ways before too long. But like I said, in my industry at least, I know what 'prominence' means. So does everyone else. No matter what changes Google goes in, I believe that prominence, and relevance are going to stay key considerations, and business owners will need guides through those roads for quite a while yet. The road might change, but don't think for a minute there won't be value to what we're offering in the online world that's coming. Given Google's low amount of investment in local search in the first place (look at how they've used volunteers to fight spam for the last few years, instead of bringing in some engineers to find more automated solutions) I truly don't think local is where Google's looking to make a buck. I genuinely believe that in the near to medium future, Home Service Ads are just a means to clean up spam, and after the medium term? Five years from now? I think we'll be looking at changes so far reaching, so unexpected, and so 'sci-fi', that we may as well figure out how to cross that bridge when we come to it, because for now, I can't even imagine what it's going to look like.

  2. Members who thanked James Watt for this post:

    Linda Buquet (06-01-2017),sdynamo (Today)

  3. #12
    Yosu Cadilla is offline Member
    Member Since
    May 2017
    Location
    Tarragona, Spain
    Posts
    10
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    Just a minute ago I was finishing another 2 page long reply to this thread, but finally deleted it all and will just post this instead:

    Google will now allow 300×250 ads above the fold on mobile webpages, says they can be ‘user-friendly’

    So much for usability, user intent and content quality.
    James Watt likes this.

  4. #13
    Eric Rohrback's Avatar
    Eric Rohrback is offline Global Moderator
    Member Since
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    865
    Thanks
    124
    Thanked 227 Times

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    Great points why you should not be putting all your eggs in one basket (Google), and diversify your offering.

    The search landscape we see today will be dramatically different in 3-5 years. The rise of voice-assisted search will continue to change how people use search engines. If you are running PPC campaigns today, you may see an uptick in "conversational" search queries. Checking the device type, you can see these are mostly coming from mobile devices.

    How are they doing it? Siri, Cortana, Alexa.

    GMB optimization is still important to some degree, but Google has reduced the management complexity over the past couple of years. I assume this is to make it so small business owners can adopt the product easier.

    If you're worried about ads taking over the head term SERP space, then buy them. Or don't and compete on longer tailed variations with fewer ads.

    Ads show (for the most part) on high traffic, commonly searched terms because those are what typically display in Google Keyword Planner.

    Instead of focusing on the negative of these changes, focus on the positive by understanding how to capitalize on these changes for clients.

    Always keep this in mind....


    YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT. IT'S NOT WORTH WORRYING ABOUT. ADAPT AND DOMINATE THE COMPETITION

    Look to the future, not to the past. Stop reading blogs that spew the same old crap, and read some that discuss new ideas.

    Realize you can do basically anything you need to if you want to drive traffic to a local business' website. This profession is an art and a science. Don't worry too much about Google making changes. They've been making changes for years that we've all flipped out about... then they became the norm. It's the cycle that will never end
    Linda Buquet likes this.

  5. Members who thanked Eric Rohrback for this post:

    Yosu Cadilla (06-23-2017)

  6. #14
    Yosu Cadilla is offline Member
    Member Since
    May 2017
    Location
    Tarragona, Spain
    Posts
    10
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    Thank you Eric, you are totally right.
    Hence that's exactly what I did, I have abandoned local SEO and moving on to adwords and other projects.

    Best wishes, Yosu.

    BTW, AdWords ads are getting bigger and bigger!
    https://www.google.es/search?q=car+d...q=sales+manago

    Look at the size of the first ad!!!
    Test on your smartphone too... this ad TAKES THE FULL SCREEN, yes 1 ad takes all your screen real estate on any hi-res smartphone.

    And it doesn't cost a dime more than a regular ad, you have to bid enought to get on the 1st position, that's all!
    This is the future guys!
    EDIT: Correction... This is the present.

  7. #15
    Eric Rohrback's Avatar
    Eric Rohrback is offline Global Moderator
    Member Since
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    865
    Thanks
    124
    Thanked 227 Times

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    Whoa... I wouldn't say abandon local SEO. That should still be a big part of the overall strategy.

    Diversify your tactics, don't put all your effort into one area. There will come a day where you are no longer able to apply a tactic to one channel, and if that catches you off guard then it's your clients that suffer.

  8. #16
    Paul Abrahams is offline Member
    Member Since
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    5
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Has Google My Business been good or bad for your Local SEO practice bottom line?

    Lots of great insights here and I agree on the future of search being AI driven. It is funny to see Webmasters trying their little black hat tricks. GMB listing has been a recent driver of SEO but one day everyone will have a listing so, it's a given. As the local market becomes more saturated Google needs to find a way to balance paid and organic search results. Similar to Facebook, the advice is a healthy ad purchase program. PPC for me is similar to paying for likes, creating a better call to action and being more direct to sales will help get rid of spammy links. I think I'll bookmark this thread for later deep reading.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. OLD Avanced Google+ Local Training (See update at bottom)
    By Linda Buquet in forum Google Local
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 01-07-2014, 07:49 PM
  2. I enter suite in the second line, Google changes to # in the first line
    By Joseph Dang in forum NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 11-11-2013, 01:46 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-07-2013, 10:30 AM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-14-2013, 08:30 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •