Has the Google SERP/local integration improved your rankings?
The latest update to the Google search engine results page (the SERPs as we like to call it) sees Google integrating the website listings with Google Places for local searches. To see what I’m talking about search for any business and append it with your local town or city.
As an example I did a quick search for ‘accountants sydney’.
You can see the little red ‘Places’ markers on the left of the top seven results. These Places top 7 now show links to those listings websites as well as a link to their ‘Places’ pages. And if those Places listing happened to have photos of smiling accountants in their Places listings, they would show up too. It can make for a very large listing for those top 7!
When we looked at our clients rankings following the changes we were pleased. Most of them jumped quite a few places in the SERPs as a results and some even jumped to the coveted #1 spot! YAY!
One thing to note, is that while websites without Places listings still appear on the 1st page of Google (albeit lower down the page), what was interesting is that Places pages without websites seemed to drop out of the coveted top 7 Places. A great move by Google as it removes those fly-by-nights who stick in a Places listing without doing the hard yards of creating an optimised website to match.
All around, great news for us hard working SEOs and even better news for our clients!