In late July 2014 there was a huge adjustment in Google local search results. Many of those that were knocked from the “7 pack” or “3 pack” on the front page of Google search are scrambling to find out what they did wrong and how they can recover from this Google local search update that some are calling “pigeon”. Please note that Google has not officially named this local search update that rolled out in mid 2014. As soon as it gets an official name I will update with a new article.
Doctors, dentists, real estate agents, lawyers, chiropractors, orthodontists, surgeons and other service professionals have a strong desire to rank in the Google local search box on the front page of Google. This not only makes them much more visible to potential customers and clients but it also shows their address and phone number. This is like killing three birds with one stone. By missing out on this Internet real estate some businesses are going to struggle to make profits. If the algorithm is, in fact, based on web search signals such as pagerank, references and links, social shares and quality content it would stand to reason that the Google Knowledge Graph does positively affect the brand new local search results.
What is the Google Knowledge Graph
Google has dubbed the knowledge graph the future of search. For much more on this please check out my very extensive research on How to Get the Google Knowledge Graph for business. Here is an example of the Google Knowledge Graph for the search phrase “Audi a4”:
Note that the Google Knowledge Graph is not simply names of products. The Google Knowledge Graph will answer questions, do calculations and offer phone numbers. In fact, you will be shocked at how many searches trigger the knowledge graph. If you are looking for the cast of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones it will trigger a knowledge graph. Even TV shows that have yet to come out are showing cast members. By Googling, “Better Call Saul cast” you will see the knowledge graph for the three main characters. I would strongly suggest playing around with this as it could potentially lead to more customers and more business. With Google dubbing this the “future of search” there is no reason to pass up the opportunity to learn more today.
Local Search Algorithm Updates 2014
On July 24th, 2014 the Google Local search update adjusted the results drastically. After several hours and days of research I have noticed that the local search results are determined by search signals that rank websites. This means that a great website that ranks near the top of Google search is much more likely to assist that business in showing up in the local search results. Therefore, SEO and a great website with quality content is even more important in July and August of 2014 than ever before. What does the Google Knowledge Graph have to do with this?
Having worked with several companies and businesses to trigger the Google Knowledge Graph I know that it takes time, effort and authority in an industry to accomplish this. A Wikipedia page is very helpful and some have had luck with freebase. Other factors include online mentions on message boards, different websites, reviews on Yelp, IMDB and Amazon and a plethora of other factors. Think of it this way, is your brand an actual brand? If so, it should be getting mentioned all over the Internet.
Google Knowledge Graph and Getting Customers
Just recently Google updated the knowledge graph to display phone numbers of businesses. Here is an example:
I will be doing plenty of resources on how to get a phone number and address to show up in the Google Local search results as well as in the Google Knowledge Graph. This is extremely valuable for a business. When users are on their phone they are going to ask Google or type into Google “top of the hill phone number”. Now that Google is offering the knowledge graph it will be much easier for the customer to call and see the lunch or dinner specials. After a car accident, they will be able to call and ask advice about retaining a lawyer or which doctor to go to.
Moving forward I firmly believe that the knowledge graph will only help your search results organically and in local search. If you are showing up in the knowledge graph that means you have plenty of domain authority and you have been mentioned around the web.