If a magazine, newspaper or printer made a mistake on your ad or omitted your ad or listing, you have recourse. One of the privileges we have surrendered to Google in accepting their seizure of online power, as well as their vast sphere of influence, is control.
The logic behind the Google search experience is making the search results as relevant as possible for the user. This has created an ongoing “cat and mouse” game for businesses and SEO companies to gain the best visibility they can, whether they are truly relevant to the search term that a consumer types in or they try to trick Google into thinking so.
In order to combat those trying to trick the system, Google frequently changes their criteria. When Google saw the practice where websites started stuffing a page with relevant key words by just listing them without regard for the quality of the actual text on the page, (Google) started to penalize the ranking of these websites. If links from other sites, blogs and directories that have been established to your site are not relevant, are not heavily visited sites, or seem to be sites strictly set up to give links, again you can be penalized.
In some extreme cases you can even be de-indexed. That means that Google will not acknowledge your site and include it in the results for any key word search (even for your own business).
So be careful. The best type of links to have coming from your site are from industry sites and blogs that are heavily visited. Google now regards “quality” links as more important for ranking than “quantity”.
Another recent issue that has come up is businesses are being removed from Google Maps without notice. One of the most vulnerable targets is home-based businesses whose physical location cannot be authenticated. One of the ways that Google ranks one business over another locally on Google Maps is how close they are located to the center of town. Businesses without a physical location are randomly placed on the map on the outskirts of the geographic area in which they are located.
A very important way to help your Google Maps listing is to list a physical location that is in a commercial location even if it is shared space. Secondly list the address on every page of your website. Try to find other sites to have your address listed in, such as other yellow page and local directory sites, which are almost always free for a basic listing. Also try to get clients to review you on Google.
As a business it is very important that you keep track of your rankings for certain keywords and search terms. Each week you should do a search for the key terms you are targeting and keep track of where your business ranks. Staying informed and on top of your Google ranking as well as your position on other search engines will help make sure your business is showing up when being searched for and ultimately bring you more leads.