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  1. #1
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    Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Dear Local Specialists,

    I'm reading a lot on this forum about Local SEO and all the Google changes to Local SEO. But as you probably know, most of these get started in the US and then slowly finds it's way into Europe aswell.

    Most of my clients are Europe based and now I'm wondering:
    "How should I use the information and upcoming changes that I know of, to my benefit?"

    Or is it not possible to benefit from this knowledge of what's coming to our local Google and I just have to wait till the changes are here aswell?

  2. #2
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Good question... Would it necessarily hurt to anticipate some of the changes? A lot of the changes are related to better user experience (or at least that's what Google says), so would it be bad to test? Do you have any specifics in mind that you'd want to use as an example for this discussion? I ask for examples because I don't work in international/global SEO at all anymore, so having a frame of reference is good to help understand the situation.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Thank you for replying Eric.

    Well there are two sides on this I guess:
    1. Some blackhat, linkfarming, pbn's (that aren't very private) are still working in markets that me and my clients are focussing on.
    2. The upcoming changes that in the US already have been performed, like increase of G+ in the search engines or the new 'cards' and local changes.

    Problem with testing it out and setting it up for my clients, is that they can't (or don't want to) wait 1 or 2 years for Google to finally make the changes here aswell.

    For example; I'm seeing alot of so called 'leads' websites that have automated content, link schemes and all and my clients can hardly get higher in the search engines because of these websites. If Google does update here, that will mean a lot of them will dissapear (I hope), but in the meantime my clients aren't getting anything higher till the time comes that Google will update it.

    I hope it makes sense, since English isn't my native language.

  4. #4
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Makes perfect sense Klaas, your English looks fine so no worries.

    Well there are two sides on this I guess:
    1. Some blackhat, linkfarming, pbn's (that aren't very private) are still working in markets that me and my clients are focussing on.
    2. The upcoming changes that in the US already have been performed, like increase of G+ in the search engines or the new 'cards' and local changes.
    On #1... Don't. Never for clients. Tactics like that which may be working today might not work tomorrow, so why risk it? If you want to test it, then test on a personal project. Don't put a client at risk just because you think you can get a quick win. Unless you're prepared to have the conversation why you tanked their business, or to defend yourself from another agency bashing your practice then don't do it. Stop worrying about gaming the system, and try to work within the system. Plan a long term strategy with clients that doesn't violate guidelines and you'll be OK. You don't control the product (search engine), so realize it could literally change tomorrow and end your business. Don't take the risk.

    #2 - If you see the wave coming, then get ahead of it by figuring out how to monetize from it. An example i've done on this is seeing position 0 (quick answer boxes) for other industries like health, then trying to make it work for eCommerce. We started working on tweaking content months ago, worked on html markup, and various other on-site improvements. Recently we've been seeing more eComm/buy-intent related queries showing quick answer boxes. Higher ups in the company got pretty excited when our pages were showing in those boxes. If you see the trend, don't wait for it to arrive. Test out some changes to see if you can capitalize.

    If competitors are moving higher, but your clients are staying the same then I agree something needs to change in your strategy. If you know their strategy (competitors) is shady, then why follow suit? Why not take the same concepts, but apply them in a different way? Let's take PBNs as an example, since that's a little easier for me to explain.

    A PBN is just a network of sites with related topics linking to your site which you control. The problem with them is that they're risky, could get deindexed if found, and are pretty expensive since you need to host them on different IP addresses/c-blocks. They're also time consuming or costly to build (depending whether you build or someone else builds). How much would it suck to put all that time and money into that strategy only to have it get taken down in a week or a month? Why not research related bloggers or other site owners in related niches (not your niche because they would be competition), form a good relationship, and then once you're in you can pitch them a guest post that would be beneficial? The amount of work seems about the same level, cost is lower (no hosting cost to you), risk is lower, and you'll get more traction since that guest post would be promoted by the other site owner to their audience.

    A PBN could work, but the ultimate question is whether it will actually help. You can either build a PBN with no audience, or land a guest post with a respectable audience and a potential for referral traffic/social shares. As a marketer which seems better? Remember we're marketers trying to sell a product/service for clients... what strategy can help you sell better? At the root of every strategy you need to be able to answer the question, "Will this create revenue long term?"
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  5. #5
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rohrback View Post
    Makes perfect sense Klaas, your English looks fine so no worries.



    On #1... Don't. Never for clients. Tactics like that which may be working today might not work tomorrow, so why risk it? If you want to test it, then test on a personal project. Don't put a client at risk just because you think you can get a quick win. Unless you're prepared to have the conversation why you tanked their business, or to defend yourself from another agency bashing your practice then don't do it. Stop worrying about gaming the system, and try to work within the system. Plan a long term strategy with clients that doesn't violate guidelines and you'll be OK. You don't control the product (search engine), so realize it could literally change tomorrow and end your business. Don't take the risk.

    #2 - If you see the wave coming, then get ahead of it by figuring out how to monetize from it. An example i've done on this is seeing position 0 (quick answer boxes) for other industries like health, then trying to make it work for eCommerce. We started working on tweaking content months ago, worked on html markup, and various other on-site improvements. Recently we've been seeing more eComm/buy-intent related queries showing quick answer boxes. Higher ups in the company got pretty excited when our pages were showing in those boxes. If you see the trend, don't wait for it to arrive. Test out some changes to see if you can capitalize.

    If competitors are moving higher, but your clients are staying the same then I agree something needs to change in your strategy. If you know their strategy (competitors) is shady, then why follow suit? Why not take the same concepts, but apply them in a different way? Let's take PBNs as an example, since that's a little easier for me to explain.

    A PBN is just a network of sites with related topics linking to your site which you control. The problem with them is that they're risky, could get deindexed if found, and are pretty expensive since you need to host them on different IP addresses/c-blocks. They're also time consuming or costly to build (depending whether you build or someone else builds). How much would it suck to put all that time and money into that strategy only to have it get taken down in a week or a month? Why not research related bloggers or other site owners in related niches (not your niche because they would be competition), form a good relationship, and then once you're in you can pitch them a guest post that would be beneficial? The amount of work seems about the same level, cost is lower (no hosting cost to you), risk is lower, and you'll get more traction since that guest post would be promoted by the other site owner to their audience.

    A PBN could work, but the ultimate question is whether it will actually help. You can either build a PBN with no audience, or land a guest post with a respectable audience and a potential for referral traffic/social shares. As a marketer which seems better? Remember we're marketers trying to sell a product/service for clients... what strategy can help you sell better? At the root of every strategy you need to be able to answer the question, "Will this create revenue long term?"
    Eric, I think you misunderstood.

    1. I am not using PBN's, but my competitors are. They are using it in the markets me and my clients are focussing on aswell. I know all about PBN's and shady tactics, as I keep a close eye on my competitors and what they are doing. But I'm in SEO for the long run, so don't worry, I won't change to the dark side .

    But what I meant to say is that my competitors are using these blackhat tricks and are coming up higher in the SE's then my clients. When I tell my clients we're in this for the long run, and explain how our competitors will be wiped away hopefull after Google updates. I even show them some related English articles that explain what the competitors are doing and why it's wrong. Yet, some keep saying: nice and all, but it means they are scoring right now and we aren't as much.

    I know I should only go for the right clients that do focus on a long term strategy, but what I hope is that Google updates quicker here, so my competitors will be wiped away hopefully.

    2. Good idea, I'll be testing some more to see if we can benefit from upcoming changes already.

  6. #6
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Another way you can benefit too, is by prepping marketing materials early. Eric mentioned answer boxes... using that as an example, if you got a win with an American client (or even did an answer box test on a personal project) then the first week it launches in your market, you'd be able to make a really strong outreach piece, either to old clients (reactivate old accounts, encourage referrals, etc.) or to new clients... direct mail, Facebook PPC, whatever. It's already a great door-opener to be able to inform a business owner about a really valuable new opportunity that just hit. To be able to do that, while also providing proof that you've been able to use it to advantage in the markets it was already available for is a huge boost to your authority there. It'll all still come down to your salesmanship and marketing process of course, but you'd be able to hit the ground running in a much bigger way than other people in your industry using the normal outreach methods.

    The only downside, if you do invest in putting some marketing materials and tests for a new Google feature not available in your region yet, you'll have to do it not knowing when it'll head to your country... and worse, it might have already changed to version 2.0 before it hits where you live, potentially making all that effort a waste. But at least it's an opportunity to consider.

  7. #7
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    Re: Local in other countries that are ībehindī?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Watt View Post
    Another way you can benefit too, is by prepping marketing materials early. Eric mentioned answer boxes... using that as an example, if you got a win with an American client (or even did an answer box test on a personal project) then the first week it launches in your market, you'd be able to make a really strong outreach piece, either to old clients (reactivate old accounts, encourage referrals, etc.) or to new clients... direct mail, Facebook PPC, whatever. It's already a great door-opener to be able to inform a business owner about a really valuable new opportunity that just hit. To be able to do that, while also providing proof that you've been able to use it to advantage in the markets it was already available for is a huge boost to your authority there. It'll all still come down to your salesmanship and marketing process of course, but you'd be able to hit the ground running in a much bigger way than other people in your industry using the normal outreach methods.

    The only downside, if you do invest in putting some marketing materials and tests for a new Google feature not available in your region yet, you'll have to do it not knowing when it'll head to your country... and worse, it might have already changed to version 2.0 before it hits where you live, potentially making all that effort a waste. But at least it's an opportunity to consider.
    Great advice James, thank you very much. This was an eyeopener for me. Now only one question remains: Does anyone know what the average update time is for Google for European countries?

    If not, it's something I'll have to look into. With this knowledge I can show my clients information and statistics about past updates.

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