13.11.2017 - Monday

Don't Panic for the Impact of Google Hawk Algorithm on Your Local Search Results

We all know that Google makes changes in search algorithm every year - minor and major algorithm updates. Usually, the Google algorithm change will typically be the update of its previous one.

Similarly this year, Google updated – Google Fred algorithm in mid of April and Hawk algorithm which is continuation of the "Possum Update" last year.

Websites which

  • Holds Low-quality content,
  • Emphasis on more ads,
  • Does not follow local search engine optimization are affected by Google Fred algorithm.

Adding to this,

Google thought that this is the fine time to work on local search results and hence updated "Possum Algorithm" in 2016 & "Hawk Algorithm" this year.

Businesses who own a local business outside the city limits, two or more similar type of businesses located within the same building or if the businesses that come under same parent organization gets affected by possum algorithm.

Though Possum filters the local business results as per the algorithm rules, the search engine giant was testing the algorithm for further enhancement. And as the result of it, Google, now released “Hawk update”.

Well, what is Hawk algorithm all about?

The Hawk update is mainly a game changer for local business and doesn't create any impact on non-local organic SERP.

Before “Hawk Update”

Businesses who are from same industry and running business geographically close will get filtered out of Google SERP as Google considers them as duplicates.

After the Hawk Update

Many businesses really think that this algorithm update paved way for good quality organic search results.

The hawk update ensures that one local business must not dominate the other in the same niche, just by having two or more physical addresses. This also double checks that the competitors are not completely kicked off from search rankings.

To brief it,
If a Business is located on 1st street of a place and your competitor is running a business in just 500 feet distance apart from you, at 2nd street, then obviously you will be at first in local search rankings.

Though both of the businesses follow same quantity of digital marketing techniques - Google rank you at first in local search results and your competitor in second position, as they are located in Second Street.

Here is an example taken from Search Engine Land,

Before the Hawk update, Weber Orthodontics was not listed in local search results for the keyword "Orthodontist wheatonil". It is because, they had a competitor within 325 feet down the street. Moreover the competitor was ranked in organic search results has they were performing well in online marketing.

SCREENSHOT

But after Hawk update, Weber Orthodontics was also included in local search results.

BEFORE AFTER SCREENSHOT

Therefore Hawk update makes positive changes in local search results and so, there is no major negative impact because of Google Hawk update and the search engine is just trying to enhance the feasibility in local search results.

Moreover the Hawk update didn’t bring any difference in organic search results.

On the other hand, from user's perspective,
Google provides much better search experience for its users who are searching for services/products in local area. They will be served with search results that are with close proximity.

Steps to Fix the Search Ranking Drop After Hawk Algorithm:

First of all, do not panic. You are not the one who is left alone with search ranking drop. Many businesses who have several addresses face the same issue.

Since this is new algorithm update, it takes some time to know the exact impact of it. But still, there are several remedies that go incognito well all the time.
Here are few of those tips,

Get Positive Feedbacks (Reviews) in Google My Business Page:
Google gives preference in local search results for businesses that have more positive reviews. And therefore set up a business profile on many review sites like Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local etc.

Secondly, you can request your customers to give feedback. Don't limit to get reviews only in local listings. Instead, you can get customer reviews via email, calls and other possible channels. Thus you can work on negative reviews to overcome them.

Inform your customers that you have worked on their negative feedback and everything is set well now. Hence there are chances for people to get convinced and use your product/service again.

Check the Information Given in Google Listings:
Usually, the search engine visits the "My Business" page whenever the search is triggered. And so, if your information is perfect and up-to-date, then there are more chances for your business to get listed in search results.

Businesses having multiple business pages confuse the search engines and gets blocked in the search response. Therefore, if you have multiple “My Business” pages then keep the relevant one and delete the rest.

Get Assistance from Professional SEO Company:

A profound SEO company will keep themselves updated in Google algorithm changes. And hence they can optimize your business website for ranking well in local search results.

The SEOCompany will,

  • Ensure whether the business address is present in your website footer.
  • Is Citation implemented for your business?
  • Is your external citation pages optimized? (Citation pages are like business directory pages which helps the users to find your local business details. Example, Yelp, YellowPages etc..)

And similar other things.
Instead of breaking your head upon Google algorithm changes, leave this tasks to a well-experienced SEO service providers.

Tips to Handle Customer Reviews in Citation Pages:

Optimizing the citation pages, not only means, updating your business information in business listings websites. But you must also manage the user reviews to get positive local search results.
Here are some tips for it:

  • Channelize the citation pages. Keep the list of website directories where you have registered for your business.
  • By having these details, you can go ahead and check the reviews given by your customers, in future. When this data is lost or not organized, then you cannot stay close to your customers.
  • Give the same contact details. So that customers will not get confused. Moreover, it will create a trust on your business. If a business directory lacks in contact number or email address, people will find difficulties to figure out your trade details.
  • If you think that you are running a customer-oriented business then never hesitate to send a "Feedback Form". Give information about your availability in the citation pages and ask them to submit the reviews about your business.

Watch Your Competitors:

When Google local search algorithm changes, it is not only your business but even your competitors get affected because of it.

Instead of getting panic, watch your competitors closely and know how they react to the changes in SEO strategies.

This gives a brief idea to withstand your local business. There are several reliable online tools that assist for competitor & market analysis. Utilize those tools and get benefited.

Final Thoughts

We all know that local search rankings are important to leave the customers at your doorstep. Hence Google updates its algorithm frequently to make local SEO strategies powerful. Follow the above-given SEO techniques to get best out of "Hawk Algorithm".