You know those SEO tactics everyone’s using now to get higher in the ranks? Well soon, they won’t trick Google into ranking you in other cities anymore. In order to even maintain the business you have established coming in, the business you’ve worked hard to grow, it’s absolutely pivotal for businesses to start building the authenticity that you’ve actually been in these areas, doing the jobs you say you do, and having someone else corroborate it, like WOM (word-of-mouth) referrals from real people who’ve used your service.
So, why the change? Basically, Google is cracking down on “SEO-first” content. This type of content is designed to perform well in search rankings instead of directly addressing the needs of human readers – and human content, like reviews and referrals. It’s all about trust.
In addition, Google will deprioritize content and reporting that is unoriginal, like information aggregators that do not themselves add value to the conversation but will promote product reviews that demonstrate obvious first-hand expertise – like reviews from real people.
They’re saying the quiet part out loud, people’s trust online has changed, and so should you.
Think about a consumer looking for a home service provider – let’s say a roofer – who goes to the Maps section of Google with Google reviews and this is where their eyes go first.
“But,” says Danny Sullivan, public liaison for search at Google, “[outlets already providing] original, helpful content will probably be unaffected [ by this change.]”
The biggest issue with these reviews is that when they’re looking for a roofer (or honestly anything) online, they have no idea if these reviews are real or not. They’re all lumped together.
- Who are these people?
- Where do they live?
- What job did they have done?
It’s that distrust in the system that makes it harder for your business to stand out and build trust with the consumer. It ends up costing you time and money to overcome afterward. The theme of this merry-go-round is – doubt and skepticism cost you money.
Next, there’s the organic section (below) the map listings.
The reason most of these companies show up on this front page in this area, and you don’t, is not because they’re better at their jobs than you are, or their websites are more valuable to Google’s search users, it’s simply because their websites are more effective at tricking the algorithm to rank them higher, which Google says it’s stopping.
That means rather than SEO-first content getting you found, now it’s authentic, customer-first content that matters.
Shameless plug notification! Not only does RealWork Labs work with Google to place real, authentic reviews, job site check-ins, and customer photo referrals, but you get higher rankings because Google trusts you, and trusts the customer reviews you get in these locations. And for consumers using our mobile app, you can now drop beacons all around town proving to both Google and customers the work you’ve done, and where it happened, are all real.
So now, when people look for what you do, if you’ve worked nearby, you can put a digital sign in the yard online that ties together the review, photos & videos of the work, and the location as proof. This will help you show up on searches like this instead of the underhanded website tricks that cost money and frustration when you don’t trust what your website company says they’re doing for you.
That’s not to say they don’t provide any value, but there’s a missing component…but, I’ll save that rant for my next post.
Can’t wait for part 2? Contact us today to get started on the right track: Getting authentic human content, moving up the rankings in Google, and earning more trust and money.