Google changes the landscape of Local Search
It has been awhile since I have posted articles on the Stationers Guild website. It isn’t for lack of interest, it is simply that I have found that the landscape of SEARCH and INTERNET MARKETING is changing so radically that it is difficult to know how to position one’s business. The new search parameters imposed by Google are so impactful that most local business owners need to seriously rethink their overall marketing strategy.
For the most part, I believe that these changes are “good” (where “good” is a relative term) for local business owners since geo-targeting capabilities in most new cellphones raise the importance of local search results. The bad news is that if a local business doesn’t have a website or has a website that is not properly configured for local search, they will be left out in the cold. Found below are – in my estimation - some of the more impactful implications of Google’s emphasis on “Google Place Results”:
- In the past, a local business did not need a website to be listed on the Google 7 or 10-pack list of local businesses. The Google Lucky 7-pack has now disappeared and has been replaced by Google Place Search. Don Campbell of Expand2Web describes the impact of these changes on local search. If you don’t have a website, get one now!
- New and growing constraints on AFFILIATE marketing by Google are designed to provide an online buyer or visitor with improved or more relevant SEARCH results. Gone are the days when one could throw up an affiliate website designed to generate commissions if one clicks on the embedded link and buys something on a sponsor’s site. In fact, I have recently discovered many websites designed to link to third-party websites may have already been deindexed by Google and may not even show up in search registries.
- While all of these factors are positive for local businesses over the long term, it does require a greater commitment by local business owners to embrace internet marketing. Fortunately, there are a number of relatively inexpensive ways to do so. Nevertheless, it is important to act now.
Because of these changes, I have decided to overhaul the Stationers Guild website. These changes will occur over the next several months but are designed to enhance the visitor’s website experience and promote affiliate programs with established vendors who have a commitment to excellence and support their storefront dealers. I think you will find the Guild website will become increasingly more valuable as it will begin to support your local marketing initiatives. More on this later.
For those who wish to learn more about creating a viable online presence, I have established a sister website called www.rite4u.com which will give you the lastest insights into the latest changes in internet marketing and the “best” tools to take advantage of these changes in technology. Through this website you will be able to access valuable affiliated resources such as Don Campbell’s Expand2Web which builds local search friendly Wordpress websites. More information on Expand2Web will be forthcoming shortly.
If you value your business and seem confused or concerned about the evolution of the stationery industry, I suggest that you register now at rite4.com and learn how you can protect and grow your investment.
Richard W. May
Thérèse Saint Clair