baker updating google business profile


As a local business owner, you need to constantly up your game to stay ahead of your competition.  We scour the web and curate content to come up with the latest in the world of local SEO so you don’t have to. These hand-picked nuggets of information are sure to have a huge impact on how you make those crucial course corrections that are aligned with industry updates. 

New Small Business Attribute in Google Business Profile

The holiday season is here and we can’t be more excited about helping local businesses like yours make the most of the surge in demand. And guess what, Google isn’t behind either. They are bringing about a few additions, the most talked about among which is the ability to add a ‘small business’ tag. 

“Shoppers are looking for small businesses: In fact, 84% of people say supporting local and/or small businesses is important to them,” said Matt Madrigal, Vice President and GM of Merchant Shopping at Google.

So, should you add the tag? How will it affect your ranking?  Let’s look at it more closely. 

Google uses a variety of factors to qualify your establishment as a small business. Annual revenue – less than $10 million, number of locations, whether it’s a franchise, and the web traffic. You could add this attribute from your GBP or the New Merchant Experience (NMX). 

It’s not clear whether it’s just a badge that allows you to stand out or there’s more to it from a technical standpoint. For now it appears to be the former. That said, given the minimal effort it takes to add the attribute, we say ‘Go for it.”  They have hinted that consumers could “narrow down their search” using this label. However it remains to be seen as to the extent. 

Historically, Google tends to introduce such features in instalments meaning this feature could assume more significance. We are hoping that they will take a more inclusive approach to include this label as a filter across search, maps, and shopping.

Here’s the interesting bit – Google will automatically add this attribute based on its analysis to certain qualified businesses. Be sure to check your business profile if that’s the case, and if you want to opt out, just uncheck the box. 


local search ads

A Couple of Changes to Local Search Ads Display With Huge Ramifications

There’s been a couple of significant shifts in the way Local Search Ads are displayed that’s created a massive shift in spending patterns. While we wouldn’t term these game changing as yet, they seem to have the potential. Here’s what you need to know. 

First, Google has cut down the number of ads displayed from three to two on desktops, while on mobile this change is observed half the time. 

Second, the number of ads that are rotated have significantly jumped. According to one observation by Joy Hawkins, a well-known local SEO and Google product expert, Google rotated ten different advertisers over a four-day period. That’s a huge jump considering how advertisers with great account history – campaigns that are running for a long time, high  CTRs, etc, were able to totally dominate the  local ads scenario. 

What’s more, the rotation seemed to be completely different for mobile and desktop. For instance, a business that appeared about 37% on mobile dropped to just about 6% on desktop. Another advertiser had 9% and 23% impression rates on mobile and desktop respectively. While it’s still unclear as to the reason behind this variation, we reckon that the process is in the experimentation phase and expect to settle down with time. 

Notable observations include:

  • Businesses in highly competitive and saturated markets were hit more.
  • Those with fewer competitors benefited greatly.
  • The biggest movement was noticed with businesses that had an ad spend of less than $1000, witnessing a jump of 25% in spendings.

google hidden gems

The Much Awaited ‘Hidden Gems’ Update Is Here and What It Means for Local SEO

If you’ve been following Google’s ranking algorithm updates, you might have come across the ‘helpful content’ update that it’s working on for a while now. Although there were hints that the search engine giant was dubbing helpful content as  ‘hidden gems’, it turns out the two are completely different, each with its own ranking algorithms and systems. 

So what is the ‘hidden gems’ update and when will it roll out?  And most importantly, how will it impact local SEO?

Hidden gems per Google are pieces of content buried deep inside forums, social posts, and blog posts that despite being seemingly helpful couldn’t make it to SERP for obvious reasons. 

When Google said “Helpful information can often live in unexpected or hard-to-find places: a comment in a forum thread, a post on a little-known blog, or an article with unique expertise on a topic.” we thought that they were referring to the upcoming ‘helpful content’ update. Now we know that’s not the case. 

The core idea behind this update is to target authentic content based on personal experiences that offer unique insights. 

Actually, the update has been silently active for a while now albeit not in full swing. Google has confirmed that this is not a one-time but a series of incremental updates. Answering a question on X (formerly Twitter) on 15th Nov, Google Search Liaison replied “Several months ago. Don’t know the exact date offhand, but it’s been months and we’ve been improving and ramping it up since then to fully now.”

For local SEO, this has the potential to be promising to say the least. While Google, as always, has not divulged how exactly it would classify an author as authentic, it went on to imply  that it’s less about the person and more about the content. 

Local businesses have often struggled (and it’s an understatement) to compete with big brands in search rankings. This update seems to level the playing field. The intrinsic nature of the ranking system, targeting personal experiences, fits the local business scenario like a glove. 

Sure, it does come with the flip-side with a ton of content related to your product or service being beyond your control. But therein lies the magic that Google has often strived to achieve – acing SEO is not merely focusing on a set of digital tactics. It’s also about being genuine with your business practices. 

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