Well as the year comes to a close, 2010 will go down as the beginning of local/social/mobile domination for the internet. New smartphone mean out with the old organic results and in with new local dominated results. Google began in February by changing search results, map listings and later on the integration of real time / social search in the listings. Many large businesses began to lose rankings and local listings began to dominate the mix of search results. As we close the year Google again has made major updates to search results bringing back a broader mix of organic and local results. Now as we head into the next decade how will 2011 shape up for Local Search.
Local Search has had many changes this year and it seams that Google’s new search results are directly a reflection of Local Search Dominance mixed with organic search results and pay per click of course. You may, depending on the search term entered, see product results as well. These are dramatic changes by themselves then consider the fact that you can also see results from Twitter, Facebook or other social networks. That is a lot of possible results. So what do you need to do for your business in 2011.
First: Capture & Optimized Local Listings. Google, Yahoo, Bing all have updated their local search properties for businesses. Just this week Yahoo announced changes that it is focusing on local search. Their partnership with Bing allows Yahoo to fully shift to developing local and mobile search platforms.
Second: Reviews to Listings: Reviews are going to drive results. Google is very active in scraping for any reviews related to business listings they have. Especially for any “claimed” listings they have. They are quick to post those results which helps to validate their local listings which in turn makes them “trusted” listings.