Today we've got some updates from the world of Google products and how we foresee them relating together to your benefit.
First, let's check in on Google Places, and if you're playing the jWAG drinking game, it's time to take a shot.
Some time in early 2011, Google took away much of the search engine optimization power you had in Places. They disabled several of the built-in fields and limited the information appearing on your jewelry store's Places Page. They claimed it wasn't a permanent change, and that might be what they thought at the time.
It now looks like Google Places is slowly being diminished in its importance. In July 2011, we suggested that your Google Places account and the Google+ Business page would eventually merge. Google+ was given a huge boost in importance when G+ posts started appearing in the SERP. For Google+ Business pages this is much better than trying to overly fine tune your Google Places account.
In the past few weeks the Google SERP layout has also changed, decreasing the importance of your Places account. Now, when you search for "jewelry stores in Chicago" you no longer see a listing of Places side by side with a Google Map. The map is still there, but instead of Places being shown first you now see good ol' fashion organic search results as the top 2 or 3 spots.
That's good news for those of you who've never ranked well with Places, because now your organic SEO has a fighting chance.
Speaking of organic, Google made another change to their search algorithm that helps to more accurately determine the location of your store and show your website to someone searching for jewelry. But to take advantage of this you need to include your store name, address, and phone number in the footer of all pages on your website. For a full explanation of this please read Nugget #399 from February 2, 2012, http://bit.ly/zEgKmr .
For the moment, a surprising twist in the SERP is now that YellowPages.com is once again very highly ranked. Yellow Pages is a paid service that's been decreasing in popularity, but it still accounts for 0.58% of visitor traffic to jewelry websites. This SERP change may just breathe new life into an old service.
So what's our bottom line in today's Daily Golden Nugget? Dust off those SEO directions you have, tweak your website, start posting to Google+, and set up a schedule to post new blogs. Search is going organic again and Google Places has one more nail in its coffin.