Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yowza! Google Local Search Results Show Big Change!

Hi folks,

If you've Googled any local business in the last 3 days, you've seen a RADICALLY different results page on Google. This has all of us in the SEO & SEM (Search Engine Marketing) field in reaction mode, trying to figure out exactly how Google is figuring its new results, and what it means to our clients, both in terms of Organic rankings, as well as Google Adwords pay-per-click.

What I can tell you in the simplest terms is that Google has *combined* the old map results (known as the "7-pack" or "3-pack" depending on how dense an area you searched) with the organic search listings that were below the map.

This has a big impact on Adwords, too. Ads that are not in the top 3 results (showing in the lightly colored box on top), now get pushed down by the map, which is on the right side at the top of the screen now. Not only that, but the map stays in its place as you scroll down, blocking the view of ads on the right side of the screen. Google has, perhaps on purpose and in a not-very-nice way, made it so people will REALLY try to bid to be top 3 in the ads now.

I'll have more on this as my colleagues and I gauge the impacts on all of our efforts. In the meantime, fellow therapists, hold on to your hats!

Happy Halloween, Peter

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Folks, it is NOT Google calling you!

Hello fellow therapists,

So I was talking to a wonderful colleague in another state today, who told me that "Google called her to offer paid placement on page 1 for a particular phrase".

She seemed confused by my fervent reply, that it was certainly not Google calling her. Folks, there are a lot of not-so-ethical SEO companies out there who will drop Google's name as they explain who they are. But trust me - THEY ARE NOT GOOGLE.

How do I know? Well, first the ethical issue of Google selling results space (this was *not* Adwords, according to the caller) - sort of like the NY Times selling you the ability to get an article written about you. Secondly, our advertising budgets as therapists are not even a drop in Google's bucket (they took in $2.2 billion last quarter). Finally, this ones been known in my world for some time (we SEOs talk).

Anyways folks, if someone calls and offers you something to good to be true - it is. And if they say they are from Google, ask them to send you an email to prove it. They won't be able to.

Stay safe! Best, Peter