This week the SEO community may have discovered a new ranking signal for local search, and a brand new Google algorithm update took place.
More details on each of these stories as I recap the top SEO news items of the week.
Latest SEO News – Week Ending 01/30/15
BBB Accreditation – A Possible Local Search Ranking Signal
I have to give a hat tip to Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable who is a regular on all the top SEO forums. This week he discovered a lengthy discussion around an article that claims BBB accreditation may boost your site in local search rankings.
The majority of the SEO community who took part in the discussion believe this to be true because of the trust signals it sends to Google. Every BBB listing has to go through a strict review process, and not every business gets accepted. Google has said in the past it’s a fan of these types of manually reviewed listings.
That’s the kind of signal that tells Google your business is real, actually located where you say it is, and most importantly is trusted.
Now there are a number of good reasons to seek a BBB accreditation for your business due to the trust and confidence it instills in your customers, but now there’s some anecdotal evidence it may give your site a boost in local search rankings as well.
Google Introduces Unknown Algorithm Update
Early into the week there was significant discussion amongst webmasters about ranking fluctuations that may be related to a Google update. One site owner mentioned seeing smaller e-commerce stores being pushed out of the first page in favor of big brands.
A concerned webmaster asked Google’s John Mueller about this algorithm update in a scheduled Google+ Hangout, to which Mueller said he doesn’t believe it was related to Panda or Penguin.
Just to refresh everyone — Panda targets spammy content and Penguin targets spammy links. So if the update wasn’t related to one or the other, the big question is what was this update targeting? Unfortunately there are no further details about that at the moment.
It was initially thought that this update would end up being much bigger than it was, reminiscent of this week’s weather forecast, but it appears that not many sites were affected. It’s still recommended to check your traffic patterns and see if there’s any unusual activity starting around January 26th.
Wrapping It Up
This week we learned BBB accreditation may give you a boost in local search rankings, and that Google is rolling out updates not related to Panda or Penguin.
Weigh in on the week’s developments below.