Five For Friday – Off With Your Map Packs: Google Changes Algorithm, Yelp Is An SEO Genius, And More!
August 1st, 2014 by
As promised back in May, the roll-out of Yelp’s video review upload for iPhone users happened this past Monday. This update allows local businesses to add 3 – 12 second videos via the Yelp Mobile App. We don’t want you to get confused though, these videos aren’t your typical spam annoyance. These videos are more than just “video reviews”. They offer business owners the opportunity to give their visitors a short glimpse into what their company is truly about (the atmosphere, employee interaction, etc.), and all before ever stepping foot in the business.
While there is no determined roll-out date as of yet, don’t frown Android users. Your video claim to fame will be coming soon via Yelp’s Android app.
MozCast has attempted to set their search query so that it accurately reflects what viewers are looking for. As a result, the seven map-packs originally provided in search results have now dropped an estimated 23.4% due to the Google Local algorithm change. Some queries, such as wedding makeup, train tickets, bed & breakfasts, etc., seemed to have actually lost local map packs all together.
We aren’t sure what other changes this update will bring to the table, but we do know that its impact on the search results for small, local businesses has substantially been affected. Overall, it is unfortunately resulting in decreased visibility. All we can do now is wait on the real world results of this update, and come up with a solution to advise our clients accordingly.
Ever wondered how Yelp, the business review site less formally known as “online urban guide”, could possibly outrank Google in its own search results? Whether it be amazing SEO tactics, pure manipulation, or sheer luck, we suggest that you jump aboard the Yelp train. Go out of your way to claim, optimize, and actively manage your Yelp listing. Whether it is by encouraging satisfied consumers to leave positive reviews on the listing, or just making sure all your information is completely accurate and consistent, glam it up as much as you can.
Until further notice, a good SEO strategy is having a good Yelp strategy.
We all are guilty of it, signing into websites using social media. It’s quick, simple, and there are fewer logins to remember, right? Wrong. Logging in with social media basically allows anyone to access the map of your road trip through life. Any personal information you have throughout your social media accounts, whether it is public or hidden, can be accessed when agreeing to login socially. While this may not be as alarming to some as it is for others, it can be kind of creepy.
Whether it stems from attempting to save your precious time for something more valuable, or if it’s just sheer laziness, no one bothers to read further into what they are actually signing up for. Next time you decide to “Login With Facebook”, take a few minutes to login into the nifty Social Profile Navigator created by industry leading social login provider, Janrain. You’ll be surprised at the data you’re allowing these websites to see.
Getting positive reviews can be a grueling task, but is ultimately worth it due to the positive effects it can have on your online visibility. Owner of GetFiveStars.com, Mike Blumenthal, strives to provide insight to local businesses and connect them with their consumers to ultimately create a strategy based on leveraging only positive reviews to increase their online visibility. Mike conducted a study to better understand what percentage of consumers actually take the time to leave reviews, as well as to find out where they prefer to leave reviews online. Out of the 2,671 respondents, a whopping 22.2% admitted to actually leaving reviews at least once a year. Then, they were asked where they preferred to leave their online results. Here are their answers:
There is no surprise that Google comes out on top, but take a look at who even trumped Yelp, the SEO mastermind and the top business review site. Without even having any designated section to place reviews for a business, consumers prefer leaving reviews on Facebook. Most consumers feel extremely comfortable when navigating through Facebook. Users are more likely to leave a review at their own free will because of Facebook’s non-threatening environment.
Although Facebook currently has no way of leveraging these assets in a concrete way, we believe that its popularity in the local review space on the web will continue to grow and remain a strong contender in the future months to come. We strongly encourage your business to partake in this natural (and free) SEO strategy — before competitors begin to catch on!