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Should We Optimize For Voice Search?

We know that the SEO in 2018 will drastically change the  way we optimize for mobile searches for sure. We are positive about this, and we are looking forward to trying out new strategies. Will it be worth it though? This is the second article of 411 Locals about voice searching and we have never been more certain that it is much important for all those who want to stay in the SEO game in 2018.


Bad Local SEO Practices

We, at 411 Locals, have seen and tested many kinds of SEO practices. Some of them work really well, some of them don’t, and some of them are… violating Google’s guidelines. We would like to point out the real bad ones on this page and hope this will keep your listing healthier.


Google Home Services is Back with a New Name – Local Services by Google

You should know about Google Home Services one way or another. The program launched in beta in 2015 and now Google rebranding it for good with the new name – Local Services by Google. The advertising and verification for local service providers have expanded to 17 US cities, and Google announced that the number will raise up to 30 cities by the end of the year. Being in the SEO game for a long time, we at 411 Locals, keep a closer eye on announcements like this and will tell you more about the new program, below on this page.


How Has Google’s Local Search Changed Over The Years?

We all know how fast Google changes algorithms and deciphering it might feel like an exercise in futility. This is why, we at 411 Locals, keep track of the algorithm changes and try to synthesize it for every SEO enthusiast. It is a well-known fact how many changes Google has made over the years, and on this page you will show you the brief history of those changes starting with the year of 2005.


2005: Google Maps and Local Business Center Merged

We all remember when Google released the Local Business Center in March 2005. The next logical step was to merge this free tool helping business to easily add or update their business listing that appear in google Local with Google Maps. The users could now easily condense relevant search results into a single location that included store hours, contact information, and driving directions.


Google Revives The Short Q&A videos. Submit your SEO questions now!

Do you remember the short-form SEO video Q&As Google used to produce but does not anymore? We at, 411Locals, sure do, and this is why we are excited to announce that Google is back on it again!

Google announced its plans via Twitter. They will produce a series of webmaster and Q&A videos on their Google Webmaster Central Youtube channel. The only *required field in the webform is the question you want to ask. Filling in your name, location, and comments is optional. The form to submit your questions is available over here.

To be honest, Google has not really stopped producing videos entirely. There are several webmaster-related hangouts on their YouTube channel. The hangouts are usually an hour long and available in different languages, where webmasters can ask their questions live. While the hangouts are just great and we, at 411Locals, highly recommend them, we cannot hide the fact the old short-form videos are the better convenient option! Especially if you do not have any particular questions in mind and just want to stay updated, watching an hourly long hangout might seem like boiling the ocean.


Hawk – The Newest Google Update

Apparently, there was an algorithm update at the end of August that impacted the local results. It didn’t affect the non-local organic results. This update is what we dedicate the post of 411 Locals to.
Here is what changed:

Changes occurred in the way of work of the local filter. The history here is that Google actively filters listings from the local results, which look similar to listings that have already ranked. Google chooses the most relevant listing, filtering the rest. This is much like what they do with the duplicate content organically. (Note: Google usually does not confirm algorithm updates, but usually only says that it comes up with several updates every day. These observations, however, are based on the way local results have changed rather than on an official announcement or acknowledgement.)

This filter has existed for some time and helps to make sure the search results are not monopolized by several listings for the same company. In September last year, another update made a significant change to the way of work of this filter. It didn’t just filter listings with the same phone number or website but also listings physically located near one another.
This became extremely problematic for businesses as it meant that of two businesses that were in the same building or even one block apart, one could get filtered out of local search results. Meaning that the competition could inadvertently bump your listing.