Understanding the Google Venice Update and its Impact

February 2012 saw the rollout of Panda 3.3 consisting of 40 algorithm changes that include the so-called Venice update. It is quite surprising though that this particular update (codenamed: Venice) has been largely ignored by a lot of SEO professionals and webmasters.

Quick Overview of Panda 3.3

Since last year, Google has been calibrating its Panda update series with the end view of improving the quality of search results. It aims to eliminate search spam and garbage website. So when update 1.0 was implemented, a lot of scraper sites and the so-called content farms were hit terribly.

One year after, the Panda is now on its 13th incarnation with the rollout of update 3.3. One of the most significant changes introduced by Google is the reevaluation of link signals by turning off certain metrics. The update penalized web pages that use paid links and pulled down the ranking of many websites.

The enormity of the changes that affected link valuation overshadowed the significance of the Venice update. This is sad because Venice can change the landscape of global and local search results.

Venice Update Up-close and Personal

Google launched this update to improve local search rankings. It relies heavily on current search signals to trigger Local Universal results. It means that a user can now find local related information and sites from broad search queries.

In a nutshell, Google search can now detect a user’s location even if that user is not logged-in to his or her account. So if you type any particular search query, the results will deliver sites that are either near your place or those sites that have location-specific tags and signals.

The Impact of Venice to Website Owners

Universal and broad search results have become too crowded and Google wants to rationalize its search engine to deliver targeted local-specific websites. So if your website does not have local signals, then it could be edged out by other competing pages that adhere to the latest Panda updates.

It is high time for you to create a local strategy to obtain higher rankings on Google’s search results. The recent update seems to put more weight for location-driven web pages. This opens new ranking opportunities for your website.

How to Maximize the Significance of Venice Update

There are several crucial things that you need to do to take full advantage of the recent Panda rollout. Implementing a new SEO strategy is a bit cumbersome but if you take positive action now, then your site could dominate the localized search wars. Keep in mind the following:

1. Create targeted local landing pages. Make sure the URL of your landing pages contain Keywords + Location. It is also advisable to publish your company’s local address on the home page to take advantage of Google Places and maximize the impact of Venice.

2. Put Keywords + Location in your site description and title tags. This tactic will always work like a charm.

3. Publish content that contains your targeted Keywords + Location. Fresh and high quality content is always preferred by Google. However, you can repurpose existing articles in your web pages by making them more location-specific.

The Venice update increased the importance of local search. If you want to get the benefits of the recent Panda implementation, then you should start creating a local search strategy now.

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