Google’s local SEO Changes: How You as a Marketer Can Adapt (2022)

Google's local SEO Changes
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There have been great changes in the way people interact with online businesses from the time we were hit by the pandemic. What does this mean? This means that search engines, businesses, and marketers had to adjust to meet the needs that emerged.

As a marketer, you must have realized that the events of the pandemic changed how local businesses operate as well as Google’s search results. This has led to many businesses losing their visibility on search results.

As a marketer, you’re at the very front of these SERP updates to help clients adapt to the changes.

Google is constantly changing, evolving, adapting, and updating. This is a fact I have witnessed first-hand after quite some time in the marketing domain.

“Google, as always, is changing the layout and testing new things, so that’s not surprising,” said Jordan. “The thing that I found most interesting were the changes to reviews and the knowledge panel.”

Amanda ajordan

A piece of advice, keep learning about some of the biggest changes and updates that have occurred. This way, you’ll know what to do to ensure that your site remains visible.

Local search is changing. Here’s :

What marketers need to know to Adapt to the Latest Local SEO Changes:

Improve the quality of local reviews

Reviews are grouped together by topic. This is among other updates that were mentioned in a timeline. You can see that there is a badge in place for the reviews.

Moreover, Google has also reorganized how third-party reviews are displayed.

The third-party reviews are still as important as those shown in the knowledge panel. They are showing up in organic searches, meaning it’s important for you to figure out where you stand.

local seo changes
Image; Amanda Jordan

“Third-party reviews are going to continue to be important because those are being shown in the knowledge panel,” said Jordan. “They’re being shown in regular organic search results, so it’s important to know where you stand.”

Amanda Jordan

The reviews’ relevancy, recency, sources, and topics all play a role in how the local SEO algorithm ranks them. What does this mean for you as a marketer?

It is important for you to understand where your clients stand for each of the factors and sure that quality reviews are created.

Edit Knowledge Panels Using Off- and On-Site Sources

Google is working on refurbishing its local knowledge panel in a big way. It is starting to shape into a unique entity, including third-party data. What does this mean?

More of your clients’ panel information could be coming from sources you have no access to.

The fact that things can seem to be out of our control, you may be able to influence what Google uses. This is according to Jordan.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas marketers should check panels has inaccurate data from sources across the web:

On-site sources

  • Schema
  • Site content
  • Robot directives
  • Google Business Profile completion

Off-site sources

  • Industry sites
  • Third-party reviews
  • Google reviews

Ensure you correct your data sources and test your knowledge panel appearances when you can. However how insignificant the corrections may seem, Google can still be able to find the new information if the changes are made in one of these key areas.

Improving Local SEO Efforts

The only way you can be able to adhere to the new local search requirements is by building your knowledge on how things are changing. This will provide you with a general overview of what to expect.

Always keep this in mind and if the need arises, work with the professionals to help ensure you have someone ensuring that the local SEO efforts are meeting the latest upgrades and requirements that are in place. Being informed will help you with these marketing efforts.

Prepare to adapt to mobile SERP changes

One thing you should know is the fact that not only the business information is changing in the local landscape, but also mobile SERP layouts as well. While marketers know this happens, SERPs have begun transforming them frequently — and not always for the better.

“We had a client that had their site links not showing up only on mobile only if you search from their city; anywhere else in the world everything was fine.”

Amanda jordan

Local SERP issues like these can seem complicated to fix, but marketers can use insights from competitor analysis to determine the best course of action.

Note: Google often experiments with local results, which could result in temporary changes to how they display in the SERPs.

Read: How to improve your local ranking on Google.

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