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Wash Wisdom: Understanding the new Google search page

Google is changing its look, and being at the top of search engine results will no longer do.


According to the article “How to survive Google’s new local search world” by contributor Wesley Young on www.searchengineland.com, the face of the Google search page is rapidly changing. Today, one will find more Google features such as paid listings, news and image carousels, a knowledge panel, and much more with limited visibility of organic webpage results. What this shows is that more information is on Google’s servers than is on the web, and Google is curating what users see, Young states. Now, instead of relying solely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you have to play by the rules on Google’s turf, Young claims. As such, Young provides a few tips on how to maximize your exposure on the new Google search page:

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  • Optimize your business’ Knowledge Graph. Google’s Knowledge Graph doesn’t just provide links — it provides answers to questions people are looking for. Google My Business (GMB) now allows you to add more than just photos and basic listing information, such as Google Posts (for promoting events and other announcements), Google Q&A (a way for users to ask the business questions), Google Messaging (a private messaging system between users and the business) and Google Bookings (which works with supported scheduling partners to make reservations through your Google account).
  • Keep managing your GMB listing. While it has always been advisable to occasionally check your GMB listing to make sure it wasn’t updated with an aggregator’s outdated information or a prank photo, the new aspects to GMB require more frequent attention to keep your listing positive.
  • Run a test. While the information in GMB may look good from your side, the information may not always appear correctly on the users’ side. Run a test to see how your business pops up from a user’s perspective. Sometimes, your name or another business’ name may turn up on a former property location, a map pin may have been dropped on the wrong location, or there may be incorrect street names in Google, just to name a few problems. Report any issues, and they will eventually be fixed.
  • Consider buying ad space. Ads appear at the top of the search page now, so if you want to be noticed, you might consider buying Google Ad space. Depending on how much you pay, you might appear at the top of the listing.
  • Optimize web content to provide answers to questions. Google now takes snippets from webpages that it believes provides the best answers to questions. These snippets reduce surfing and clicking through webpages. If the content on your webpage can provide the answer to a frequently asked question, make sure to structure it that way in order to increase your chances of becoming a featured snippet.
  • Keep on top of updates. New updates to the GMB dashboard will now allow users, for instance, to manage all of their locations and not just be limited to 100 of them. There are other new features to be explored, so be sure to look into them in order to utilize them to their fullest.

Read the original article here.

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