Why Google’s Venice Update Fundamentally Changes Global SEO

Google’s Venice update has caused surprisingly few ripples in the search engine marketing industry given the scale of its impact on search: it’s easily as important as Big Daddy from 2006, itself the most significant update made by Google up to that point.

Most important among the 50+ changes announced from our multinational / global point of view, is Google’s new handling of generic search queries which previously would not have been localised.

Where in the past a search such as ‘seo’ or ‘jacket’ would have simply returned Google’s non-local result set, now Google will include results specific to your location (whether you have actively set your location or not: Google will locate you based on your IP address).

Google SERP showing localised results for a generic search term post Google Venice.

Obviously, the impacts of this change are far reaching.

Where previously in a multinational SEO or PPC campaign you would plan your Keyphrase Strategy around performance on localised sets of mid to long tail keyphrase terms and largely discount targeting performance for very generic (i.e. single word) terms for all but the largest websites or brands, now you will very likely start receiving traffic for very top level terms when you’re considered to be a localised listing to the searcher’s location.

This means that if you do operate in multiple territories, it’s now absolutely essential to be considered a local listing.

For a walkthrough guide on how to ensure localisation across all your target markets, follow my guides in previous Search Engine Land articles.

In effect, by thoroughly localising pages across your target markets, you are now able to be returned for the very highest traffic terms with minimal effort.

Such terms have the benefit of a very high percentage of new visit visitors associated with them (your SEO ‘net’ is cast further, capturing more visits from people who have never been to your website before).

This reflects the message you should be sending out to the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) of top line information about your company USP or brand message, and your fulfilment of that message on the associated landing page.

I’ve also written about this before in these hallowed pages, so I won’t go over old ground again.

But for example, if you are a high-street retailer and your point of difference is a guarantee of authentic third-party brand products with a rock-solid retail warranty, then getting those elements front and centre of your SERP snippet, and following through on that promise on the landing page is now vital.

Supplementing that message via PPC for successful top level organic search visit terms identified through your eCommerce data is also highly recommended. Partly because of the proven overall improvement in SERP conversion for such strategies, but also because going through this analysis process will highlight the new generic terms driving traffic to your site as a result of Google’s Venice update.

By matching your strategy to Google’s algorithmic triggering of localised results for generic search terms you will naturally be targeting some of the most valuable, least competitive (relatively!) SERPs that SEOs have ever seen to date.

They won’t stay uncompetitive for long, that’s a guarantee!

About The Author

Chris Liversidge
Chris Liversidge has over twelve years web development experience & is the founder of QueryClick Search Marketing, a UK agency specialising in SEO, PPC and Conversion Rate Optimisation strategies that deliver industry-leading ROI.