Feb 15, 2012

Google making changes in its local search algorithms

With Google making changes in its local search algorithms, checking rankings for local business listings for geo-targeted terms is getting a bit difficult. Google also takes into account the searcher’s location and alter its search results to prefer local listings. So, searching for keyword “chicago pizza”, a person sitting in Chicago may get somewhat different results from a person sitting somewhere else. Sometimes, a person searching from outskirts, or suburbs, of major city do not get same results as a person searching from within city limits or center of city. However, there’s a way to determine local rankings with considerable accuracy. Google provide a Custom Location option in left hand s! ide menu options on search result pages (sometimes hidden under search Tools option). This lets you customize your search location. Make sure you are not logged into your Google account and disable personalization results based upon search activity.

Many Sites experience downtime while under maintenance or up-gradation. Most of these websites put up a temporary placeholder page informing visitors as to what has happened and when the site will be back. But this is not the best way to deal with search engine crawlers during the downtime. Most of the websites either return 200 Ok as server response code for their temporary page or show an 404 Error Page with 200 response code. Google has suggested webmasters to use 503 HTTP (service unavailable) server response code. an optional Retry-After header can be used to specify the estimated date and time when the downtime will be complete. For e.g., this code will somewhat look like

header(‘HTTP/1.1 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable’);

header(‘Retry-After: Sat, 8 Oct 2011 18:27:00 GMT’);

But be cautious not to use 503 response code for a very long time as it can eventually be seen as a sign that the server is now permanently unavailable and can result in us removing URLs from Google’s index.

There are times when its make sense to bid for your own brand keywords or company name in AdWords (or adCenter). Chances are that the CPC you will pay is not very high unless you have a world renowned brand name. Also, you will enjoy high Quality Score and therefore, may have to pay lesser CPC. Some of the situations when you should bid for top position, or above organic results, are mentioned below.

{1} You website does not have top position for brand keyword or company name due to SE penalty 
{2} Negative reviews come in top ranking results for the brand name queries
{3} Other companies are bidding for your brand keywords or optimizing their websites to appear in top organic rankings for your terms
{4}You want to create brand awareness. Sitelinks and Product extensions are best ways to do it.
{5}Capture additional traffic by dominating both organic and paid listings

shisha said...

but if we want to be top on local searches for any keyword, Google is providing maps to add your business. and if most of the users write a positive reviews surely will be on top.

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