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Hey everyone.. its Matt Johnson here from ThinkBigSites ,

Today I’m going to share with you My FAVORITE “Google Change” that I think has the Best potential to really get your phones ringing.  It’s Powerful.  & if You’re a forward thinking Local business.- Your gonna love It…

Yesterday- Google changed the format – of how it shows YOU -The local search results.

So Normally when you did a Local search in Google . Like “wedding venues” in Virginia beach – Google used to show  a blended result of regular searches –along with the Local section called the  “Seven Pack”. -You know, the ones w/the red teardrop markers next them -

Anyhow.. this new change REMOVES that Local 7 pack section COMPLETLY.

Google now shows 10 or so local businesses- horizontally-   RIGHT At the top of your search.. With company image, your company name, and # of customer reviews..

Right there in plain sight!

FOLKS, This is “Social Word of Mouth” at an unprecedented scale!

The technical term of Google’s addition is “The knowledge Graph Carousel” or just “Carousel”.

Basically It’s a banner that shows at the top of your regular Google searches -when you perform a locally based search ….., Now not all searches are there yet, but they will be!

(For instance Go ahead and Google: hotels in Virginia Beach,  or breakfast café. You’ll see what I mean.)

As I said. Google calls It a “Knowledge Graph Carousel”.  Personally I prefer “Local Review Banner”.  I think that’s easier to understand.” So I’m gonna claim “ownership” to that name! lol .. Anyhow, Google officially announced this release-  yesterday morning  From their Google+ Page.

According to the announcement, when a user searches for “restaurants”, “bars” or “other local places” from their desktop or laptop, a horizontal “Carousel Display” of images, against a black background, at the top of their search results is displayed -

Including the number of customer reviews from around the web!

Users are able to interact and scroll sideways to see more business and their reviews. -They can zoom in on the map with the scroll wheel of their mouse to narrow the search area and results.

By clicking on one of the images, customers get to see THE location details- including Full reviews – address -website- Phone -photos etc. But simpler than before~!

The part I like is…  Even before you click on anything, you get to see how many reviews a company has. SO It’s a lot easier to see who you might want to do business with WITHOUT having to Dig For It… That’s pretty cool.

Google also tells us that they’ll be adding more Local “Search Types” in the very near future. Right now it’s restricted to about 50 local search types, but very soon You’ll see – every type of local business – From your Plumber – to your Botox surgeon.

Google also says – It will include this for Mobile searches as well.

50%+ of ALL Mobile Searches have Local intent according to Google). More astonishingly.. 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device- call or go to that business within 24 hours. This is big!

 

I think this change is perfect timing, because one of the things that we’ve been talking about for almost 8 months here at ThinkBIG- is the incredible power of local reviews, and how important these customer reviews are for ranking locally in Google and other business directories. Especially those reviews from directories in your specific industries! Getting fresh positive customer reviews every month Is KEY.

NOT just for Google – Also for the Social Impact – it has for people who are trying to decide which business they want to spend their money with.  They’re gonna do business with someone. It may as well be you! RIGHT?

 

Here is an example Scenario:

Let’s say a Client from out of town-  comes to visit, and you want to take them out for dinner. So, you type in fine “Dinning Virginia Beach” or whatever city your in..

Now-  Let me ask you a question… Do you ever look at the customer reviews as a way to decide which place you might wanna do business with?

Of course you do!  We all do! Word of mouth is powerful.  & we want to know someone had gone there before us!

Incidentally –if you’re the business with all the bad reviews…  I’d hate to be you.  Because there’s no hiding now!.(Except maybe on page two and below) Good luck staying in business..

Another important thing is…your probably not gonna choose the business whose last review was like 7 months or year ago.  But your DEFINITELY gonna give more consideration to the company that has fresh reviews…   And guess what?   It’s the same for Google!!

This is why I say that Local SEO is a lot different than regular search engine optimization.  Google is all about giving the searcher the absolute best most relevant search result.  Especially when “she” knows you might actually come face to face with a business. Google realizes that when a person takes the time to write a review about your company, and the Person shares it with the world…  Well. THAT’S WAY more powerful. And Google knows IT!

I don’t want to get technical on the inn’s and out’s of local SEO. so I simply won’t..

But I will tell you that these “Local Reviews” hold tremendous weight in the eyes of Google- and that’s what will get your phones ringing with new customers.

Folk, The playing field has changed! OVER TWO BILLION unique Local searches are done every month on Google from Desktop computers in the United States. So, There’s a VERY good chance that your customers have looked or will look for you online. When they do, you better be there!

I hope you’re starting to realize how powerful this is  because that’s exactly what we do for our clients every day.

Go ahead and check out our local SEO plans in the link below. . Our Local SEO packages start at just $495 a month.. http://www.thinkbigsites.com/local-seo.html  Feel free to contact me & ask questions. Again my name is Matt Johnson.  My email addresses is MJohnson@ThinkBigSites.Com and you can reach me at (757)745-9581.

Thank You for allowing me to share a few minutes with you. so that at the very least you get some Solid Ideas of what’s possible for your business.

Good luck in your business endeavors.. and Thank You.

Online Visibility and Credibility! ThinkBIG can help you build both!

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