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Top Google Ranking? We Can Do Better Than That! Part II: Local Search and Google News

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Google Search Engine Optimization

google-news-and-localThis is the second in our series of posts where we talk about ways to gain additional exposure on Google. In the previous part we covered the things you can do to enhance your search listing to make it stand out and get more clicks. Today we're going to talk about additional ranking opportunities on Google and how you can make use of them.

Optimizing for Google Universal Search

When you run a search on Google, pretty often together with the usual search listings you'll see additional results: images, videos, shopping results, local listings, real time search results, etc.

universal-search-results

The technology that mixes these additional results into the general SERPS is known as universal search.

Universal search results take up large and often the best chunks of Google's front page real estate. Obviously the traffic-generating potential of these listings is enormous. Let's see how you can push your website into these results and dominate Google search.

1. Local listings

Local listings appear for searchers where location is important. Mostly these are queries with geographic modifiers such as state, city or street: 'car repair New York', 'bed and breakfast Liverpool', etc. Sometimes even when you don't explicitly show a local intent in your query, but it is evident that your search is local by nature Google may serve local results based on your IP location.

Local results are put at the top and they eat up most of the above-the-fold real estate on the frontpage. If your business has a local focus you should by all means get into local results. Here's how you do it:

If your website has already been submitted there by someone else, you can claim the ownership of your business to gain control over your listing.

  • Specify your address and contact info

Make sure you have up-to-date and accurate address information. Mention your address on your website to get more chances to rank for geographically relevant searches.

  • Choose the right category and write good description

To rank well in local search it's important to have your site in the right category with a detailed description.

  • Write a compelling title with your keywords in it

Getting ranked in local search results is half the battle. There'll be up to 9 other guys fighting for the click there. You'll need all your creativity here because all you've got to deliver your message are: title, URL and phone number.

  • Encourage user reviews

local-search-user-reviews

Google shows a link to user reviews next to each listing. Encourage positive reviews from your customers because they will help you rank higher.

Google often takes data from other business directories to serve local results. Get listed there and you'll have more chances at getting the local search traffic.

2. News

Every now and then Google news results find their way into the SERPs (search engine results pages). They are not as prominent as the local results, because news block is just a one-box section. Still it stands out from the regular listings.

google-news-optimizationNews blocks are triggered by the Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) filter. When a certain topic gets a lot of attention on websites, blogs, and news outlets, Google thinks that the query is 'hot' and starts serving news results for it.

There are two ways of getting into Google news:

1. Become a Google news publisher

If you regularly cover industry news, provide fresh and original content, you may become Google news publisher.

There are a number of quality criteria you need to meet to become a news publisher:

  • Have a recognized corporate body operating your news website
  • Have a past record of delivering regular original news
  • Have several writers/editors providing news coverage

If your website qualifies for becoming a Google news publisher you can submit your website to Google news

If you manage to develop your website to an extend when it'll be considered a trusty news source, you'll make your way to Google News at http://news.google.com/ and will also rank in the news bloks of general SERPs.

2. Become the News

  • the hard way

Do something extraordinary, set a record, sponsor an event, etc. The best opportunities to get in the press usually appear in the 'slow news' periods such as Christmas holidays. But even if you can't make it to the front page of New York Times, you can still find your way into the news results box for your targeted keywords.

  • the easy way

The easiest way to get into Google news section is via the press release websites. Sites like BigNews.biz, PR Web, www.prnewswire.com, etc. often come up in news sections for very competitive keywords. They accept free press release submissions, so you can easily get your website in the spotlight of Google news at no cost.

A couple of press release submission tips

  • Make sure to put your keyword in the title of your press release. Unless you go for a very competitive keyword that's mentioned a lot by mainstream press, this should be enough for you to make it to the front page.
  • To further increase your chances of hitting the news, add an image to your press release with the keyword in the file name.
  • Check which PR sites rank well for your niche keywords and submit your press release there.
  • You can also submit your press release to other sites and maybe shoot a couple of articles to ezines and article directries for the QDF mechanisms to inject the news section for your keyword.

Although your site will not be directly ranking in the news, this technique gets you both free exposure and a couple of relevant links.

To be continued...

Local listings and news results hold great traffic generating potential. Still these are more ranking opportunities left on Google universal search and beyond. We'll take a look at what else you can do to gain search exposure in the coming parts of this post. Stay tuned into our RSS feed to get the updates as soon as they go live.



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