This topic contains 13 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Stephen Dalby .
Are the days of local SEO for home services over?
You now have to scroll down over half the page just to see organic search results! Google Ads is completely taking up all the best real estate. Even if you are ranked number 1 for GMB and organic, there are at least 5 or 6 competitor phone numbers offered in Ads before your site is shown.
It seems Google is phasing out local organic search results and making everyone pay-to-play be noticed. Am I wrong?
Any rank-and-rent pros have an opinion on this?
I wouldn’t say It’s “Over” but I agree that with you that Google has been taking up more and more real estate on the page (which is expected tbh)
But personally, I’m not really bothered. I’ve always used a paid strategy alongside, and we’re mainly focusing on just that right now to be honest
The returns are simply fantastic – way more worth it than all the SEO efforts/headaches (and Google wants exactly that as well)
A paid Google strategy? You mean, your participating with Google Ads?
Yeah it’s been some time like this. I think 1-2 years ago the first rolled out, and steadily growing since then to further local cities/services.
U.S. only so far I think.
Focus on long tail.
But one thing you might have noticed – although these ranks are bit irrelevant (specially local keywords), authority sites are getting more and more preference (maybe because google doesn’t want to rank a 10 pages website soley built for lead generation). Machines are taking over the serps and the day is no long when you have to go to the #2 page to see organic results.
Google ‘should’ prefer 10 page sites built by business owners over Yelp, HomeAdvisor, etc.
That makes sense, but Google knows there are big brands sitting out there who are ready to spend $$$ even for showing their ads on random keyword.
For instance, I’ve seen an add of bra manufacturing company for the search phrase “Facebook”! And trust me it’s happening, although it’s not in favour of SEO’s.
100% agree, it’s not serving the user by offering what is essentially a search engine within a search engine. But this seems to be the case. I’ve got local clients that get buried under all these different aggregator sites which I don’t see helps the user.
All that I can say is – Don’t hate the competition, hate the game you are in. Best of luck! Cheers.
I definitely don’t blame the competition! Just hope Google look at the local results and see that it isn’t benefiting the user in it’s current state.
Google has changed a lot these past 3 years. SEO is definitely dead unless you are willing to wait 12-24 months for shitty results on high competition keywords. The only way to go nowadays is by paid traffic.
SEO is dead, stop doing it guys just move on to other things.
I did a test with real average users to see how the presence of Local Service Ads affected the CTR of organic / local results. The CTR of the map pack / organic was reduced a lot, but it’s not dead. On searches with regular Ads, the Paid / Organic traffic split was about 30/70. When LSA (google guaranteed) was present, it went down to about 50/50. Results were pretty consistent across most trials. So while it did have a big effect, it wasn’t as bad as some might think. We are just combining organic and selling Local Service Ads to supplement the SEO which seems to be working well so far for us.
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