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How the Google Algorithm Has Changed (And What You Can Do About It)

Adaptability is a vital trait of successful businesses. This also applies when you have an online presence. Here's how you can keep up with the latest search engine changes.

Laney's Plumbing is a full-service plumbing, HVAC, and electrical company based in Fargo, North Dakota. Originally started in 1960, it was primarily a plumbing construction family business. They kept the Laney name after an ownership change in 1983.
The fascinating fact about the company is that it generates such high revenue while covering a relatively small market of around 200,000 potential customers. In fact, they now operate 50 trucks and have annual revenue of about $16 million.
The company is, by all means, a world-class business. So how did they achieve and maintain such success?
Laney's Plumbing has devoted much attention to marketing. One of their fundamental beliefs is that marketing must be constant, rather than start-and-stop. And their strategies managed to keep up with the times - from catchy jingles in the 80s and 90s to modern online marketing.
With our help, Laney's nailed its online marketing strategy and achieved excellent results. Now, it's well on the way to even greater success.
The massive results that the company achieved are also attainable for businesses that are ready to step up their SEO game.
However, this isn't an easy step to make because Google's algorithm is always changing. Every business that wants to become prominent on the market needs to adapt these changes to its online marketing strategy and keep up with the trends.
In this article, we'll show you how your company can keep pace and start getting better results from your online marketing.
There are four main changes to Google's algorithm you should know about. Let's take a look at them in more detail.

1.  You Can't Get Away with Duplicate Content Anymore

For many companies that want to rank in smaller towns around their main area, a common strategy is to create duplicate versions of their main page and just change the city name.
This used to work fine, until recently. Google is now penalizing sites that have duplicate versions of the pages.
If you want to make pages for towns in your metropolitan area, which we still recommend, you must ensure that the content for every page is different and unique. Everything has to be custom written - from one city to the next and from one service page to another.
If you've already got the pages set up the old way, the content will need rewriting. However, there are costs and time associated with doing that. A more straightforward way would be to just remove those pages from the website.

2. Link Quality Is More Important Than Ever

The quality of links has been more and more important over the number for some time. Today, low-quality links can harm your site's rankings. And if you have links from other sites not relevant to your services, it will start to impact your search results negatively.
We would suggest having someone take a look at your link profile. There are also great tools that can generate a report of all links your website has, as well as all of the linking domains. If you notice a lot of non-relevant links, you'll need to reach out to those websites and ask them to remove you.
Alternatively, you can start what we call a disavow process through Google Webmaster Tools, where you can point out the negative links you need to deal with.

3. You Must Have a Real Physical Address

Ranking in maps is another pivotal aspect of online marketing. To ensure you're covering it, you must have a real physical address listed in the city where you want to rank.
In the past, it was possible to get around this by setting up addresses of relatives that live in your target area or putting a fake PIO box address. But Google has vastly improved its mechanisms to track this type of activity.
If you still have such a setup, you'll have to clean up the fake listings. You can do this by going to Google Maps Maker, find those locations, mark them as closed, and merge them into your main listing.
You'll want to make sure to remove all of the fake listings or else your legitimate listing could take a hit or fall off Maps altogether.

4. Site Speed Matters

Site speed plays a major role in rankings. That’s why we've helped many clients boost their site speed - to fantastic results. Websites that didn't rank at all and couldn't be found anywhere on Google started ranking very high after their speed increased. 
Get this right and your site can achieve the same.
If you want your site to load faster, there are many things you can do to maximize its speed. You can compress images, especially those in the background, get a better server stack, and further optimize the server, to start with.
The speed of your website when it shows up on desktop, and even more critically, on mobile, has a massive impact on its rankings. Fortunately, you can easily determine your site speed through a Google tool called PageSpeed Insights.

Make the Algorithm Work for You

How well your site ranks in searches will mean a world of difference for your revenue. 
Today, it's become necessary to keep up with any changes in Google's search algorithm. And there are many steps you can take to do just that.
In our experience, improving your SEO will likely bring about excellent results. That’s why the best thing you can do for your company is to start adjusting to the changes right away.
If you’d like to discuss how you can generate better results online, let’s schedule a time to chat. You can pick a time that works for you now by going to

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