seo web design

The art of http

Archive for the ‘optimising local results’ Category

Is it worth submitting to Directories any more?

Is it a good idea?

I remember the days, albeit close to ten years ago now, when you could submit a website to a load of general directories and rank a website, it really was that easy. Back then the search engines didn’t really seem to care about where the links came from, it was a simple case of more is better, but if you don’t read any more of this post than here, just be aware that things have now changed quite dramatically.

business directoryA few years ago, the search engines started to lower the authority of directories and in many cases the trashy free ones were wiped out of the index completely, leaving them with no authority or “link juice” to pass on. Not a bad thing at all in my personal view, because they were essentially worthless, the only people who went on them were those wanting to submit their sites, in many cases they were automatically approved so the directory became worthless as soon as it became populated.

Fast forward to today and things are very different, even DMOZ doesn’t seem to have the authority that it once did and adding your site to it has become a matter of process at best, the reason being that although it’s huge (and I mean, absolutely massive) and human edited, it tries to be all things to all men (and women). It’s a high PR directory, but as PR is not what it used to be either (that’s another story altogether), that’s not really a good reason to submit any more.

So what are the good ones? I hear you cry!

Well, think relevance, I don’t mean just in the context of your details, but the whole thing! An example being regional ones, such as Wiltshire Local yes it covers a wide range of topics, but it’s focused on a specific, fairly small region, Wiltshire. The search engines seem to like these type of directories because they are a genuine resource available to people in that particular county. So search your local area, there are usually a few focusing on both the towns or cities and counties in a given region.

The other ones which are of use are the industry specific ones, while they may not exist for every profession or trade out there, there are a plethora of directories dedicated to the building trades, accountancy, solicitors and retail to name a few. Again with these you are associating yourself with other businesses in the same vertical market, and because they have to be categorised another way too (or you would just have one huge long page of listings), they are likely to be split out into sectors within that specific one, or possibly also by region.

Make sure you write a good unique description of your business so it’s approved and you will probably find your listing showing up as a link in the future. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not the best type of link to have, but it’s a relevant one and may just help you appear for local searches if it’s regional.

Written by stevie B

03/20/2013 at 18:09

Google Places Search Results

Unless you’ve been asleep for the last few months, you will probably have started to see googles local or places results appearing in the search engine results. These are the listings with a red icon next to them with an A, B, C etc inside and a map off to the side with corresponding icons pinned to a Google map. So what are they and why are they now appearing?

simple internet diagram

Firstly just to be clear, these are called google places listings now but are just the newer version of what was previously called google local listings, they can be added by anyone who has a website, all you need to do is visit the google local pages and list your website, fill in as much detail as you can, including a description, opening hours, pictures and of course make sure you have that little pin in the right spot on the map.

So how do you go about getting listed? That’s the easy part, you just log in to your google account and add the listing, then leave it for a few weeks and if you are lucky, or in a small town or uncompetitive niche, you may find that you start to appear straight away. If not you just need to keep going back in and adapting the ad, make sure you adhere to the guidelines though, breaking those may mean you get a penalty of some sort and then find it even harder to start appearing in the future.

I must admit that I am still trying to work out exactly when and why the local listings are displayed for a given search term, you can click here for a site with more regular updates as this does not seem to follow any specific logic in the same way that traditional seo does. For example if I search builders with a UK town name, I always seem to get local listings, this makes sense seeing as most builders do work within a set geographic region, due to time and cost implications. However, if I search for pizza without a town name I still get localised listings, obviously this is due to my browser being set with a region and therefore the results are being set accordingly.  Other times though I can search for a term and I see no local listings at all, just the normal SERP’s and Adwords. Then again, sometimes I get about 8 listings and sometimes just three, sometimes the map is in the main page, and sometimes it’s in the side bar. I’m not sure if it is still settling in, or if there is some kind of logic behind this, so I will keep an eye and report back further if I find the answers.

Of course, if you are unsure about doing this, you can always find a professional SEO company to add it for you. If you do use a company, you may be best finding someone local to you, as they will most likely have done it for other companies in your local area, so if you are in Wiltshire find a wiltshire company, or even better if you can find someone in your local town, so if you are in swindon and can find a swindon seo all the better.

Written by stevie B

02/10/2011 at 11:01