A brief history of Google’s most important local search updates

How has Google's local search changed throughout the years? Search Engine Land's Columnist Brian Smith shares a timeline of events and their impact on brick-and-mortar businesses.

Predicting when the next major change in local search will occur and how it will impact ranking and SEO practices can be pretty difficult, not least because Google rarely announces or fully explains its updates anymore.That being said, here are some evergreen local SEO tips that never go out of fashion (at least not yet):
  • Manage your local listings for NAP (name, address, phone number) accuracy and reviews.
  • Be sure to adhere to organic search best practices and cultivate localized content and acquire local links for each store location.
  • Mark up your locations with structured data, particularly Location and Hours, and go beyond if you are able to.
When in doubt, look at what your successful competitors are doing, and follow their lead. If it works, it works — that is, until Google makes another ground-shaking algorithm change. Read more...