Last week we have witnessed a drastic change in one of our business website, the traffic had jumped all of a sudden from an average of 60 to 400+. We were astonished with the sudden change -

Google’s Hawk Attack

Only then we realized how far Google’s Hawk Update has had an impact on the website. Though we had a positive impact, there are some businesses who would have had a negative impact.

Google's 'Hawk' Update is a refined version of the 'Possum' update. This Google Local Algorithm dived in, on August 22, 2017.  Even though there is no official name for this update, the SEO experts, call it as ‘Hawk’ as it a powerful bird, which targets on possums.  Possum was actually the name of the update of Google’s earlier local search algorithm and this Hawk update, is said to have a stake on the previous update. This update is precisely aimed towards local search and this could be a game changer for small businesses.

What is the purpose of the Google Hawk Update?

This, Google’s latest update superseded the previous Possum Algorithm update from 2016. Possum was able to influence 64 percent of the local search engine results.  The difference between the Possum and Google Hawk update is that, Hawk only affects the local search results and does not have an influence on the non-local organic results.

Previously, Google offered local results listings that were similar and that already ranked in parallel positions, but now, Hawk filters and displays only the most relevant listings to the rank.

Yes! Now, the same company cannot monopolize on the local search results, discloses the SEO experts. We are not sure as to why Google has remained very quiet about this update! In the Possum update, two businesses, that belonged to the same industry type and that shared the same space in a building or that was adjacent to each other – out of that, one with strong application of shared keyword and higher organic ranking showed up in the local search results and the other got kicked out of the results, because of the filtration process.

Google, now has understood the need for a change on how the filtering system should work and hence the update! Credits to the new Hawk Local SEO update, which benefits all local businesses in the same industry type, despite of the location. Google is also looking to target and exclude the businesses that are using the same address manifold times to get into the local search results. Though this is an improvement on the previous updates, there are chances that it could still cause problems for the business with the same industry type, located in the same building. Indeed, some businesses will still suffer, but many businesses will be happier with this restatement of Google, as the neighboring competitors will not be able to kick you out from the rankings.

How to make progress in your local SEO rankings post-Hawk Update?

Here we present to you a few tricks that will help you to survive Google’s Hawk Update.

1. Aim to get Good Reviews

Google has proved time over and again, that they weigh up your business or website depending on what other people think of your business. If someone endorses that your business is good, then Google is likely to rank you higher than the next person in line.  So, try to increase your site’s good reviews on Google, Yelp or anywhere that is appropriate for your industry.

2. Adjust your Technical SEO

Never ignore the SEO basics – Onpage & Offpage on your website! Google might consider that even for the local search results. Double-check that your webpages have the SEO titles and Meta descriptions of appropriate length and they are able to load quickly without any broken links, especially, the page’s loading speed should be above 80. Also, make sure that the targeted Keywords are included in the Meta tags, header tags, webpage contents & image alt tags with optimal keyword density & without keyword stuffing. You also have the opportunity to design geo-targeted landing pages, which encompasses the need of initiating a landing page and creating geographic keywords like your environs names or addresses, this also portrays your local services. The only thing that you have to be careful is, you must not create overly similar or duplicate contents on your website. Along with this, Add Structured Data/Schema tags to NAP details.

3. Make sure your Google My Business Listing is 100% Complete

Ensure that your business details are mentioned correct and stays newfangled. Mainly, include an informative & unique about company description using targeted keywords without sounding too promotional with precise call-to-actions. Update all your business details such as hours of operation, payment option, parking features, offers, business email, additional phone numbers etc.,  you also have the opportunity to Upload photos (Interior, Exterior, Team at work etc.).  Only with these details, Google checks and thinks that it knows everything about your business, so make certain, that it is the right thing. Also, this information is the one which springs up in when someone searches your business name. So it has to be correct, particularly, on the site's footer & contact us page.

4. Keep a watch over the Local Listings

You must monitor the local listings and ensure that your business is popping up in the local search results. This exploration will help you stay alert on the any hypothetical filtrations of Google. Also take care that there is no duplication of the same address as yours, as it might cause confusion.

Finally, this update in Local Search Algorithm is much better for a searcher, which gives a much better experience, when looking for business in local area. They will be served with a lot of options.  But the trick here is to rise and shine at the top amongst your competitors businesses.


Category :


Tags :

Google Update

About SIM - Expert Digital Marketers

SIM -  Expert Digital Marketers Only when many experts blend into a team, it can pave way for a hard core team. And, we are SIM’s hard core Expert Digital Marketing Team, filled with Energy, Strategy, Creativity, Interactions, Reviews, Troubleshooting and thirst to learn, inspiring SIM to get better every day. We always focus on moving forward, keeping in mind our .... more info