And you won’t believe what happens next…
- Google will lose market share in Local (trying not to repeat myself here so check out the link to Streetfight for more thoughts on GOOG, Facebook, Apple, etc.)
- Google will significantly change the layout of its local pack results at least twice, causing me to break out the Pigeon poop pic again
- Google will drastically update their GMB guidelines for the 3rd time in two years, causing a mad dash of changes and posts with the actual impact being minimal (on a related note, Linda Buquet will create the longest forum thread in history with updates on this)
- Google will release the ability to claim a listing into GMB locations (aka bulk feed) like you can with their regular dash (Hallelujah!)
- As mobile search volume hits north of 75% of local queries, Google Desktop SERPs will almost start to not matter for certain industries – thinking A&E & on-demand services specifically. While the mobile algorithm will continue to be similar to the desktop algo, we will start to see an increase in the ability to influence mobile SERPs via making your site/service/content more “location aware”
- To that end, Google will continue to experiment with paid versions of the local pack in an attempt to make these often-horrific results a lot better
- After two years of Penguin paranoia, crap linkbuilding & guest posts will continue to be the coin of the realm for most SEO services
- Social signals still won’t mean shite for SEO but SEOs will still sell them to SMBs, cause ya gotta be on Facebook, right?
- Apple Maps Connect will roll out functionality for multi-location brands; maybe they will even allow more agencies to manage accounts for multiple businesses; and European & Canadian businesses will be able to use the service to manage their listings.
- The number of “How to Optimize for Apple Watch” posts will be unsurprisingly insane. I may even have to write one 😉
- Yext* will successfully IPO creating a feeding frenzy for big players to try to get bigger pieces of the listings management biz (while likely ignoring the lessons of Zero to One). A Yext IPO would also open the floodgates for other scale local marketing plays to test the waters (thinking Thumbtack, Houzz, etc.)
- Someone will try to buy Foursquare (what’s a local search prediction list without this one?). And speaking of acquisitions, the success of Moz’ and LocalU’s Local Up conference will spur M&A rumors which will cause Mike Blumenthal to have to say “no comment” for the first time in history.
- Stone Temple will publish an exhaustive study on how regularly publishing exhaustive studies improves SEO (I keed Eric, I keed…)
- The demand for Local SEO services will hit an all-time high
- We will publish more often on this blog and elsewhere in our attempt to blow your collective minds and/or procrastinate
*Yext is a consulting client and I own a small chunk of Yext stock