2010 began with some controversy over a decision by Google to remove local listings that usually appear on top of the organic results for SEO and web designer queries. Many SEOs and web designers alike are bashing Google for making this move saying that it is unfair and favors larger firms. They feel that their hard and honest work has been wasted just because Google does not look kindly upon SEOs.
Some believe the move to fake local results created by large national firms and outsourcing firms in India. However, this is not the first time Google has made a big move to combat spam. Previously, they stopped reading Meta keywords to combat with keyword stuffing along with discontinuing the use of PageRank (at least for the publics’ use) to combat with paid link exchanges.
Some SEOs are actually praising Google for the move stating that map results are largely abused by nation and foreign firms. Others are also saying that since web design and SEO is a national and global industry by nature local results are irrelevant. They also say that the
companies at the top of the listings deserve to be there because they are the best and have the most amounts of clients linking to them.
However, there is a small glint of hope for small firms. SEOs have found (almost immediately after the update took place) that if you type “web design in Las Vegas” rather than “web design Las Vegas” local results appear. This gives smaller, local firms a fighting chance. The only problem is that most searchers have become accustomed to getting local results without having to add “in”, therefore, the keyphrase with the additional word receives considerably less traffic.
The industry was already expecting changes for 2010 starting with Caffeine, but this one definitely took us by surprise. Google shows no signs of changing the listings back to normal anytime soon so we have to assume that this is a permanent move and just deal with it no matter how much we like to complain. Now the question is what will Google change next?
No Local Listings for SEOs and Web Designers? by The Web Squad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.