Google Updates: Panda 4.2 and Fewer Local Results
Marketers should always make it a point to stay informed about changes related to all things Google, and there are some specific updates involving Panda and local search that they should know about right now.
First, Panda 4.2 finally arrived, although the full rollout will happen gradually over the next few months. This is the first Panda refresh in almost a year. This time, only about 2 to 3 percent of search queries will be affected, according to Google. This refresh may be good news to sites that were negatively impacted by the last Panda refresh, assuming they made changes since then that have improved their content quality.
Since this rollout is expected to happen very slowly, it may be difficult to pinpoint any clear impact or designate any winners or losers, at least for quite a while.
In other Google news, there was a noticeable change to the local search pack. Queries with local intent will now show three businesses, as opposed to the previous crop of seven. Those businesses featured in this 3-pack are displayed more prominently, with more detailed information showing in their listings.
Whether this is good news or bad news will obviously depend on what position your business lands in on that list. For those in the top three spots, this means greater visibility and less competition.
This is strong motivation for companies that want to boost their local business to evaluate and improve their local search engine optimization strategies.
KEO Marketing can help you improve your local search tactics and your search engine optimization strategy overall.