This month Google has been making some major changes to how it ranks pages and sites. Website Magazine has an in depth report (Google SEO: Algorithm Changes – February 2012) as does Search Engine Land (Google Confirms Panda 3.3 Update, Plus Changes To How It Evaluates Links, Local Search Rankings & Much More)
One thing I would like to highlight is Google’s enhanced focus on ‘Local’. From Search Engine Land…
Here’s another one, along with the link evaluation signal, that I’m actually surprised Google would so openly reveal. The company says traditional algorithmic ranking factors are now playing a bigger part in triggering local search results:
Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.Traditional SEO has played a bigger part in Google’s local search since the launch of Places Search in late 2010. And now it sounds like that dial is being turned up a little higher, too.
Google’s post also says local results are being improved because of a “new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.”
Another thing that is important comes from Website Magazine…
Image Index Expanded (codename Images Universal): Google has expanded the size of its images index which means more relevant images on a larger set of queries. Visual assets are playing an increasingly important role in SEO, so ready those pictures!
For a gite and holiday rental owners, write about your local area and name names and take pictures, plenty of pictures! Optomising your pictures for Google is easy and now more than a just a good idea.