Small business should benefit from Pigeon
In the ever-changing world of search engine rankings, Google recently released a major upgrade to their algorithm - the first major release in quite a while. Nicknamed "Pigeon" it promises to be good for local based businesses, which make up a huge percentage of the nation's businesses and covers almost every "Mom and Pop" one.
Local business directories - you've all used them before, they're Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc - have received a boost and the long-running fracas between Yelp and Google seems to have been fixed, with Yelp results now showing up properly in searches.
So what's in it for me?
If you're a local business, that is, you don't try and grab your customers right throughout the nation, you could see a significant improvement in search rankings - depending on the search phrase of course. If someone searches for "Pizza, Phoenix", or "sporting goods, surprise az", then, assuming your site and peripherals are properly optimized, you will now stand a better chance against the nationwide brands - Dominos or Sports Authority.
But there is a catch (isn't there always?). You may need to do some off-site work first to take advantage of this change.
What should I do?
First port of call is Google Places for Business (https://www.google.com/local/add). If you haven't already listed here, go and do so now. If you have, go there anyway and make sure all your data is up to date and everything has been completed.
Next stop are sites such as Yelp (www.yelp.com), MerchantCircle (www.merchantcircle.com), LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), Local Yellow Pages (www.yellowpages.com) and a myriad of other local directory pages. Source out ones, especially, that are local to you and get listed on them.