Eat Local: Our Top 10 Local Search Columns of 2016


At the beginning of the year, BrightLocal conducted its annual Local SEO Industry Survey, which seeks to gauge the general mood and outlook of professionals in the local search space. At the time, 78 percent of respondents believed that 2016 would be a “good” or “great” year for business. Now, as the year comes to a close, one can only wonder: Were they right?

Local SEO continues to be a thriving niche within the search industry. And this year, while relatively quiet, still saw some major developments that impacted how local search practitioners perform their jobs.

Midway through the year, Google launched “Promoted Pins” on Google Maps, giving marketers a new paid option to incorporate into their local marketing mix. Will Scott’s article discussing this new ad type in more detail made it into our top 10, suggesting that local SEO practitioners may soon be expanding into local PPC as well.

Then, in September, businesses were hit with an update to Google’s local ranking algorithm, dubbed “Possum” by the local SEO community. This update was thought to be the largest adjustment to the local search results since the Pigeon update of 2014, reportedly impacting 64 percent of local SERPs. The local search community certainly took note, as columnist Joy Hawkins’ Possum explainer was our top local search column of the year.

So, was 2016 a great year for SEO? Check out our top 10 local search columns from the past 12 months and decide for yourself!

  1. Everything you need to know about Google’s ‘Possum’ algorithm update by Joy Hawkins, published on 9/21/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 2931, Google+ 492, LinkedIn 1,798
  2. Top 9 reasons Google suspends local listings by Joy Hawkins, published on 4/21/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 855, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 794
  3. How To Localize Google Search Results by Clay Cazier, published on 1/13/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 622, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 393
  4. 10 Ways To Simplify Your Local Marketing Strategy In 2016 by Wesley Young, published on 1/4/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 1,062, Google+ 337, LinkedIn 947
  5. Google Is Fixing The “Permanently Closed” Problem by Joy Hawkins, published on #N/A
    Social activity: Facebook 355, Google+ 123, LinkedIn 270
  6. Angie’s List is now free: What this change means for your business by Brian Patterson, published on 7/5/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 708, Google+ 115, LinkedIn 724
  7. The big picture guide to local SEO: ranking in 2016 & beyond by Marcus Miller, published on 6/10/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 704, Google+ 206, LinkedIn 564
  8. The perfect local SEO landing page by Marcus Miller, published on 7/8/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 1307, Google+ 259, LinkedIn 840
  9. Google Posts are going to kill (at) local SEO by Andrew Shotland, published on 3/14/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 754, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 767
  10. Excited about Google’s new map ads? You should be! by Will Scott, published on 7/29/2016
    Social activity: Facebook 934, Google+ 168, LinkedIn 759

Methodology: Columns published in 2016 are ranked in order of page views measured by Google Analytics. Data includes all columns published through November 30, 2016. Social data provided by SharedCount.

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