What does Google’s Site Links Mean to SMBs?

Every time I see a change to Google.s Search Results I wait with baited breath to read Andrew Shotland.s blog on www.localseoguide.com to see what it really means to our company and our customers. So the other day while I was searching for of all things false eye lashes from Sally.s Beauty Supply, I noticed another change to the Search Results and I became concerned. Instead of one nicely organized column, I was now seeing results with two columns of links which I now know is Google.s .new and improved. site links.

eLocal Listing provides Local Search SEO for over 100,000 local businesses across the nation, the majority of them SMBs. So, I try to stay in front or at least on top of the latest changes to Google.s algorithm or any change in formatting changes for the results for Local Search queries.

I recall Google.s change to their Search Results Page in late October when I actually started packing to move back to NH or the Panda algorithm changes made in April 2011 which literally over night saw a drop in visits to many directory sites. With both of these major changes, eLocal Listing.s customers. profiles improved in ranking and our Clicks2Calls customers continue to received a large number of high quality calls so I unpacked and settled in to Southern California.

So once again I find myself going to LocalSEOGuide.com to read what Andrew has to say about this latest change. Andrew Shotland.s posts about Local Search give us a glimpse of our potential future and a start on our next SEO strategy. When I first read Andrew.s post Google.s Supersize SiteLinks = SuperSize SEO Buzz Kill? I thought Google why are you giving an advantage to national brands once again by taking up the most valuable real estate on your Natural Search Results Pages. SMBs just don.t have the time, the money, or the expertise to compete in the playing field known as Natural Search Results. So I did my typical searches to find the following:

Contractor in Chelmsford, MA returned the exact same results prior to the change.

JR Maintenance Remodeling & Maintenance did not return the new and improved site links in columns, but did display images which hadn.t been displayed last week. We still appear on page one for both.

So far so good.

Now on to Fusion Signs one of our Multi-City adopter and our bell weather for our search results on Google. So I search fusions signs in Hurst, TX and all is good. We show up #1 in Organic and #1 in Google Places.

These aren.t national brands, so I must do some additional research. Through our partners we represent some of the largest brands in the nation through our Clicks2Calls program. All State Auto Insurance of Wolfeboro, NH is one of our clients and there they are on the front page.

So far I am agreeing with Mike Blumenthal that site links update doesn.t really change the position of non-Google/SMB content on these SERPs much for local businesses.

We continue to strive to provide quality, relevant content that follows sound SEO practices.

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