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It’s All About Localisation

“We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user” – Inside Search.

Arguably the most notable and important of Google’s recently announced algorithmic changes was the Venice Update. Under this intriguingly named system the search engine results pages will point to sites of apparent local interest. As an example, a London resident logging on to Google and searching for a dentist would see listings for practices in Brentwood, Barnet and Croydon.

The localisation of search engine results is likely to be embraced by small and medium sized businesses, with sites optimised for specific areas. Larger companies wanting to stay ahead of the game should make the following site adaptations:

Develop localised landing pages

Edit title and meta tags through the use of ‘localised keywords’

Optimise URLs and headings for local searches

How Important Are Pay Per Click Advertisements?

Many of today’s online businesses rely upon a mixture of PPC and organic listings to generate much needed website traffic. However, for those companies who have achieved excellent natural results, the temptation to minimise expenses by cutting down on PPC advertising may be great. Google recently reported that the adoption of this tactic is likely to have the following negative effects:

Incremental ad clicks could drop by up to 85% if all spending was paused

Ad clicks would decrease by up to 80% if spending was significantly reduced

The amount of organic click-throughs would only rise by 4% if all pay per click ads were cut

Lead Researcher David Chan said, “It is a very surprising result, and, I think in some ways, it runs counter to what people would think but the data speaks for itself.”

Could Your Website Be Penalised For Being ‘Overly Optimised’?

As part of their ongoing scheme of rewarding good quality content, there are reports that Google is planning to demote ‘overly optimised’ sites. This is likely to come as good news to webmasters who engage in the creation of valuable blogs and formation of high quality links. On the flip side it may negatively impact websites which:

Have established vast numbers of reciprocal links with other industry related sites

Place numerous anchor links to pages deemed to be of high importance

Use generic keywords in the naming of domains

Google Technologist Matt Cutt’s said, “We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you’d normally expect.”