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Is it Spring yet? It is sure starting to feel like it! The sunshine, the warmer days, the sneaky rain that we know we can expect any day now.
Ah well. The longer days are setting in and we are sure going to be enjoying them even if we see more rain and cold in March and April.. and who are we kidding.. May and June… Welcome to Seattle.
That, of course, includes reading up on all the developments in our SEO world. Google really took over this week as far as updates go. New SERP page for defined answers, algorithm update, GMB updates, and more!

GOOGLE

Google shows answer without any search results
For queries that users rarely click on search results, Google has started only showing the answer and nothing else on the first SERP.
Some concerns from the community include wondering what next Google will decide only warrants a one-page answer. And will this have an impact on organic listings?
Check out the post here for some Twitter banter.
Google’s broad core algorithm update explained
Last week Google confirmed that they released an algorithm update. Google releases updates all the time, even sometimes several a day, however, some of them can be more impactful than others. As per usual, Google was vague about this update. While users noticed rankings dip, Google insists that this update did not impact low-quality websites.
Search Engine Journal breaks this down in more detail.

GOOGLE LOCAL

Google as your landing page
This great study from Classy Brain showed just how many leads were coming through via a businesses GMB listing and how many are coming through the website via organic results. Very interesting find for this industry. More leads came through the GMB page, but more money or higher-valued jobs came through the website.

 

Is Google Stupid or Do They Choose Not to Solve the Local Spam Problem?
Oh, boy is this a big one. As SEO’s we are always fighting spam on Google local and maps. It’s an on-going challenge that Google seems to do little about.
Mike Blumenthal breaks down some of the reasons why Google does little to nothing about this issue. From maps and local listings be free products to company values just not aligned to tackle these problems.

 

Back to the future. Google rolling out business descriptions in GMB dashboard. 
OK, I got really excited when I saw that business descriptions may be coming back to GMB pages that appear in the knowledge panel. Google used to allow businesses to add a description. (of which of course we would make sure all necessary keywords were included) but they pulled it a while ago. It looks like it may be coming back!
I checked several clients on our end both in Seattle and other parts of the US, and it doesn’t look like it’s been rolled out widely yet. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this for sure.
Stay tuned!