What’s the latest News in local SEO?
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What are the latest changes, tests and developments in Local SEO? What does it mean, and what could it change for you? Here’s our round-up of the most interesting recent developments.
Google announces the Future of Search
At its Google I/O conference, Google gave a glimpse of its ambitions for its search engine, with the integration of generative artificial intelligence as its main focus.
The idea? To make life easier for Internet users by giving them easier access to the information they are looking for. Let’s take a simple example: a consumer wants to compare two restaurants near his location to make the best choice. He has specific criteria in mind: a relaxed atmosphere, a vegetarian menu and room for a large number of guests. Until now, you’ve had to manually search for the names of the two businesses, compare Google Business Profile listings, look at reviews, visit websites and so on.
Tomorrow, Google wants AI to do all the work. All you have to do is ask the question or give instructions directly in the search bar: “Compare 2 vegetarian restaurants near me with a relaxed atmosphere and room for a large group”, for example. Based on information aggregated from Google Business Profile, websites and other resources, Google will then propose a comparison table. Watch this video to see what this will look like in practice.
This technology, which is functional for all types of queries, will change how information is searched. Its impact on local queries will be significant, and it will be interesting to see what criteria Google takes into account to determine which establishments will be highlighted. More than a search engine, Google is really becoming more and more of an “answer engine”.
Google displays services on desktop
The services display on business listings is no longer limited to the mobile version of Google Business Profile. They now also appear on the desktop, which is good for businesses. Users follow this link to indicate the services they seek and their location. Google will then bring up the corresponding business listings.
Adding services allows you to position yourself on strategic keywords and queries for your business. They also help certain establishments to move up the rankings, thanks to the justifications. Services impact the ranking of points of sale, so their importance should not be underestimated.
Snapchat launches its chatbot
After several months of testing, Snap has launched My AI, its AI-powered conversational assistant. It is based entirely on ChatGPT, the OpenAI assistant. As a test, we asked it to locate nearby Japanese restaurants, which it did by compiling a list of establishments. By clicking, it is possible to access the restaurants’ opening times and contact details.
Apple Maps accepts customer reviews and photos
Your customers can now rate your establishments and publish photos taken on the spot on Apple Maps. Therefore, Apple’s mapping service is no longer dependent on third-party review services such as Yelp or Tripadvisor to provide its users with reviews. For the 4 criteria (general rating, food and drink, customer service, atmosphere) that change depending on the nature of the place, Apple is giving internet users the choice of the thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
The display of bookings is changing
Bookings made using the “book with Google” feature are now displayed directly on establishments’ Google Business Profiles. Your customers can therefore view the date, time and number of guests booked directly from the Local Pack. Krystal Taing noticed this new feature and shared it on Twitter at the beginning of April.
A new feature for menus
When adding or editing a menu on Google Business Profile, restaurants will be offered the option of copying an existing menu found by Google on the Web. Most of the time, the information will probably come directly from the restaurant’s website. But Google will not limit itself to this source. Once the menu has been downloaded, all the elements can be edited individually.
It should be noted that the functionality, which is undoubtedly being tested, is not yet very reliable, according to the internet user, who documented its operation. During his tests, he found that Google only selected one menu from the site (the drinks menu in this case), only a small portion of the menu, and not all the prices were correct either. Still, it’s a good basis for adding your menu easily and not having to do it all manually.
That’s it for this time. Local SEO news has been busy recently. There’s no doubt that it’ll be even busier in the coming months. Count on us to keep you up to date!
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