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What Is Pigeon And What Did It Change In Google?

Google's latest major algorithm change is referred to as Pigeon, and places greater emphasis on local SEO and ranking strategies than ever before. For businesses attempting to rank at or near the top of SERPs, the changes brought forward by Pigeon change how to use SEO to sustain or improve those rankings....

Posted on 2014-08-08 19:59:28

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A few weeks ago, a new algorithm update codenamed Pigeon was released across the web.  Similar to other animal-named algorithm changes like Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird the Pigeon update made waves that will change how businesses compete for viewership on the web – especially through local rankings and SEO.

What Is Pigeon

Unlike Panda or Penguin, which punished low quality sites and rewarded high quality sites or Hummingbird that matched the context of search terms with content posted on websites, Pigeon affects rankings in a new way.  With Pigeon users are directed towards accurate local listings in SERPs that are displayed based on traditional search rankings and web signals.

Why Was Pigeon Introduced

Google has refused to provide any details about why they released Pigeon or what other long term changes to the algorithm will come out of the update.  But Google introduces hundreds of changes to algorithms and search engine rankings every year.  Some changes are larger and some changes are smaller, but they are meant to provide users more satisfying SERPs.

However, there may be one reason why Pigeon affected the algorithm in such a profound way.  Yelp and other local directories have complained to Google for years that the search engine’s own listings were ranked ahead of Yelp or other major directories.  This came to be known as “the Yelp problem.”

Since Pigeon came down, the changes to the algorithm improved rankings for Yelp and other directories.  Now when users search for information about local businesses, directories like Yelp will appear at or near the top of SERPs, which host detailed business pages for specific businesses.

What This Means

Pigeon is placing an important emphasis on networking to improve rankings.  Directories like Yelp will play a greater role in how sites receive traffic as the directories will point to business pages registered on their domains.  For local search terms or information about local businesses in a specific product category, this assistance from the directories will help local sites reach and sustain an appropriate audience.

If your business does not have a local business page on one of these directories, consider creating one.  Once these pages are created, encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback on your business page to improve your reputation and association with a valuable local search term.  You can also link to these business pages in any company newsletters as well as directly on your website to make it easy for users to leave reviews.

Keep Up With SEO

Though local directories are more important now than ever thanks to Pigeon, always maintain your own website to satisfy Google.  Use your SEO strategy to monitor traffic, improve rankings, and target keywords that are important to your site’s wellbeing.  Also remember to add fresh, trending content that adds value to customers as they visit your site.

By following traditional search engine and SEO guidelines as well as the new rules under Pigeon, you should safely adjust to the new algorithm and allow your business to continue flourishing online.

Permalink: http://www.crittersearchinc.com/what-is-pigeon-and-what-did-it-change-in-google/

What Is The Point Of Local SEO?

The old ways of doing SEO continue to evolve with Google and new advancements in technology. The rapid growth of mobile web browsing and targeted local rankings is causing Local SEO strategies to become crucial for a business' rankings....

Posted on 2014-07-17 16:29:17

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Have you heard about Local SEO?  If you’re new to the SEO world, you might think that this means spending a lot of money on local advertising or buying spots in the media and allowing those ads to translate into higher rankings for local or targeted keywords.

If you follow the general rules of SEO to rank organically, then yes you should see your rankings improve for terms or keywords connected with your product or brand.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will see your business rank at the top of Page 1 in your local city.

You may ask yourself why bother ranking locally if I rank strongly for broader, generic terms with higher search volume.  The answer to that question is primarily due to the growth in mobile and tablet web browsing.

In much of the developed world, people live on their smartphones.  Whether at work or sitting at home watching TV, people are browsing the web using their phones, and often do so more frequently than using a desktop or laptop computer.

But when doing Google searches on a smartphone, the first thing that often pops up in the search results is a Google map.  The map lists local businesses that provide the product or service you entered into the search engine.  However, these businesses appear based on how successfully they use Local SEO to improve their rankings in that city.

Ranking on the Google map is especially important for mobile web searches.  Smartphones and tablets have smaller screens than laptop or desktop computers, and people are more likely to click on the first search result that appears.  If you are not ranking on the map, there is a strong possibility you could miss out on a core group of your target market.

To improve your local rankings, you must ensure data on your site meets certain requirements that appease Google.  This can be done by organizing a Local SEO checklist, and submitting the necessary changes to satisfy Google.

Some of the basic requirements include:

  • Consistent company information, such as name, address, phone number, and email
  • Broadcasting all contact info on your site as well as across all social media channels with no inconsistencies
  • Clearly identifying your product category for Google
  • Targeting content and social media engagement around topics that are important to a local area

These are only some of the steps to help improve Local SEO rankings, but following each of these guidelines should be a top priority to help rank locally.  Once you have your plan in motion, begin monitoring local trends and start ranking!

Permalink: http://www.crittersearchinc.com/what-is-the-point-of-local-seo/

Meet Tess Our New Web Designer!

Meet Tessrah, the new graphic designer at Critter Search. With a background of work in Readers Digest, Best Health, Loblaws and many other clients. Tess now brings her skills to the clients of Critter. ...

Posted on 2014-06-13 17:21:51

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Hi there,

My name is Tessrah Baptiste and I'm the new Web Designer here at Critter Search Inc.

I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario where I went to school at Wexford School for the Arts, and was enrolled in the Special Series Visual Arts program.

I graduated from Seneca college's three year graphic design diploma in Oct 2012. While there I worked on the student council as coordinator of Clubs and Associations, I sat on multiple committees, and was involved in many leadership programs.

Since college I've interned at Reader's Digest Media Canada as a graphic designer creating work for magazines Best Health, Our Canada and the Canadian Reader's Digest, along with clients Loblaw's, Hallmark and Iogo to name a few.

I'm currently a mentor at Ladies Learning Code and Kid's Learning Code which is a not-for-profit group working to empower everyone to feel comfortable learning beginner-friendly technical skills in a social, collaborative way such as programming and graphic design.

I live in my family home, with our dog Sherah. I love eating gelato, zoning out, creepy rural forest, and edm concerts.

I am also a freelance designer. Feel free to follow me:

website: www.tessrah-baptiste.com

twitter: @tessraaaah

facebook: www.facebook.com/tessabap

Permalink: http://www.crittersearchinc.com/meet-tess-our-new-web-designer/

What Is Google Panda All About?

Google released the latest panda filter update on May 20 known as Panda 4.0. The update is said by Google's Matt Cutts to add value to smaller businesses with fresh and creative content through improved SERP rankings....

Posted on 2014-05-23 17:46:22

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In today’s environment, most people get their information off the web.  And the majority of that group of people will click links on the first page of results in Google search engines.

Recognizing that the front page is where the largest market browses the web, Google will periodically update their algorithms to improve the web browsing experience for users.  These updates are known as Panda and Penguin, which act as filters blocking spam filled websites from reaching the top page while rewarding sites using organic SEO strategies with higher rankings.

Panda is an algorithm that was first introduced in February 2011, and was one of the biggest changes made by Google in years.  The initial launch was said by Google’s Matt Cutts to affect up to 12 percent of all search engine rankings in the US market, with similar rates in other markets around the world.

Since the initial Panda launch, there was a Panda 2.0 and a Panda 3.0 released intermittently over the years.  These larger, more extensive updates overtook the monthly updates used by Google to make minor changes to algorithms and rankings.

There was a recent Panda 4.0 update that many webmasters believe was tested throughout the month of May 2014 as there were notable shifts in rankings for many key search terms over that time.  Matt Cutts gave hints about the new Panda update in March at the Search Marketing Expo, where he hinted the new algorithm will likely benefit many small businesses.

As with other Panda updates, Google is expected to reward sites sharing unique, creative, and most importantly user related content that fits their brand or product profile with improved rankings.  Consequently, Google will continue punishing spamming or link heavy sites with lower rankings – or in certain extremes, removing sites from search engine results altogether.

Though Panda is known for punishing sites that fail to follow Google’s webmaster rules, very few sites see sizeable jumps in rankings in the immediate aftermath of an update.  Noticeable shifts up or down in the rankings over the first 48 hours following a Panda update should be taken with a grain of salt.  It takes time for Panda to filter through all the content on the web.

Tim Worstall, a contributor on Forbes magazine, calls Panda 4.0 “evolution in action” requiring webmasters to analyze how their sites come through the updates, and then adjust their SEO strategies to take advantage of potential higher rankings.  Worstall describes the aftermath of Panda as sites “running to stand still” – if your site remains more or less in line with where you stood in the rankings before the update, you likely came through the changes ok.

Webmasters and SEOs should spend the first week after Panda 4.0 carefully monitoring Google analytics and other factors that measure a site’s rankings.  Over the course of a 7 day adjustment, site managers can fully understand if they are working within Google’s guidelines – or preparing for a serious problem.

Permalink: http://www.crittersearchinc.com/what-is-google-panda-all-about/

Meet Amanda the new Marketing Intern!


Posted on 2014-05-12 20:01:56

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Hi Everyone!

My name is Amanda Toppazzini, I am the new Marketing Intern here at Critter Search Inc. for the summer! I am currently going into my fourth year at Ryerson University in the Business Management program, majoring in Marketing and Global Management. Right now I am a Brand Management Associate in the Ryerson Capital Markets Group. I grew up in Collingwood Ontario where I went to high school at Jean Vanier Catholic High School. In high school I competed as an All-Star competitive cheerleader with the Collingwood Cheercore Chameleons for 3 years. I have also been Lifeguarding on and off for 5 years. I will be working here at Critter Search Incorporated on marketing materials, content development, content curation, and social media. You will see more of me on this blog, as I will be featured in some of the posts!

Permalink: http://www.crittersearchinc.com/meet-amanda-the-new-marketing-intern-2/
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