4 Local Search Tactics That Will Matter More in 2014

One of the more interesting aspects of seeing local search mature over the past seven years has been how little the algorithm driving local search results on Google has shifted.

For example, while Google has made significant changes to which queries trigger local results and how those results display, its stance on citation building and cleansing/optimizing Google Business/Places/Maps/Plus Local listings has remained consistent since day one.

Some of the more recent factors like traditional organic signals are occasionally prominent as Google tests ideal ways to present merged local and organic results in the search engine results pages (SERPs). On the other hand, while review and social media signals are being spoken about frequently and starting to be incorporated in SERPs, the weight of those factors when it comes to local rankings is still fairly limited at this time.

Yet despite Google's consistency in the past, we can expect the importance of certain local factors to grow in the year ahead. Marketers should focus their energies on these key tactics in 2014.

1. Improving Brand/Domain Authority

The shift from keywords to context that started with the Panda updates in 2011 and culminated, most recently, with the Hummingbird update last August have had a clear impact on domain and brand authority, major facets of SEO. These two factors now matter more than ever.

Targeting micro sets of tail end keywords with thin content pages is a tactic that lost a great deal of effectiveness with the Panda release, and with the Hummingbird update, the tactic is poised to go the way of other previously killer SEO techniques that eventually became ineffective like microsites and PageRank sculpting with nofollow tags.

What will matter more is how authoritative searchers and Google view a site relative to any given topic.

Does the site offer the information searchers need? Will it keep visitors on the site after their initial visit? Will they visit again based on the content? Or does the site simply contain pages just to manipulate the search results?

These are the types of questions Google is trying to answer as it orders its search results, and it gets better at this every year.

Read more : http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2321848/4-Local-Search-Tactics-That-Will-Matter-More-in-2014