As 2017 kicks into full gear, we are starting to see the numerous predictions surrounding Google implementing a better user experience come to fruition. January was far from quiet, with a major change being noticed in terms of Google reporting backlinks and either penalizing poor links, penalizing Private Blog Networks, or simply altering the impact and weight of links. This is not alarming, as Google has been known to do this in the past, which is why Tandem pulls a quarterly link audit to keep our clients’ backlinks clean.
The first week of February gave major brand sites real estate in the Google waterfall. For local businesses focusing on SEO and organic rankings, the update to the waterfall results means that there are less predictions being served to consumers who begin to search for even the simple beginnings of a major/local brand name, and more real estate being given to major brands as a result. However, if the consumer is doing a generic search locally, the results will not be affected.
The Google waterfall update seems to simply be predicting whether or not someone is searching for a specific brand, whether it be a local pizza place name or a major chain store, then serving them the website before they reach the results page.
We’ve always stressed the importance of great SEO onsite and making sure that your website is optimized to rank for your keywords, as well as your brand name.
Ways that you can make sure that your site is prepared for changes in the waterfall include doing a search for your brand name and seeing if your home page is the number one result, making sure that your site has a cleanly named URL structure to allow for the possibility of prediction by Google spiders, and making sure that the URL structure is in-line with the Title Tag and Meta Description keyword focus, as well as your geo-targeted area.
This is something that we can do for you upon request if it has not been done so already.