How to Track Post Panda 4.1 Update Changes and Improve Ranking within Local Search

Those who take the time to monitor the search marketplace and analyze the performance of companies both before and after the latest Google search Panda algorithm changes will have noticed that companies who prepared for the change and utilized best practices within their site optimization improved their ranking position. The important element in the process for the local business owner is to understand how incremental site changes can significantly boost their rankings.

For example, after the recent Panda 4.1 update, which was rolled out in late September, it was discovered that companies with optimized local landing pages achieved, on average, a 10-to-20 percent boost in their rankings. For growing companies, this ranking enhancement can often make the difference between success and failure. With Google recently suggesting they’ll be changing their algorithms more regularly, there’s now greater opportunity for enhancement for those playing by the rules. The foundation that will help companies reach and maximize local search opportunities is their ranking measurement process and their selection of key performance indicators.

These performance indicators include the following –

  • The company’s ranking in the big search engines
  • Traffic levels from engines and directories
  • Ranking in local search
  • Link activity analytics
  • Average review ratings

By closely analyzing the performance of these indicators over time, companies can measure how their changes are impacting their search performance. This will then empower greater search marketing results. But in order to continue to improve, it’s important to note the latest best-practices suggested by the industry’s experts. This on-going monitoring and optimization process is critical within the evolving search marketplace. In organic local search, the latest industry data suggests the following are the most important ranking factors:

  • Having the city, state and landing page name in the page title
  • The page authority of the landing page URL
  • Quality and authority levels for the inbound links to the domain
  • Quality and authority levels for the inbound links to landing pages
  • The website’s domain authority

For webmasters, achieving a strong local presence in the last few months of 2014 and into 2015 can be achieved by continuously reviewing the performance of key site metrics, and honing the site based on the most important ranking factors.

The results achieved by those who followed the expert advice before the latest update highlight the advantage given to the proactive site owner in the race for rankings. There is now a clear foundation to help local companies improve their returns from local search investment. By simply following the advice of market experts and using the data available, ranking enhancement becomes inevitable.