Google seems to have done a complete 180 from its beginnings. Early on, Google had been trying to connect a user to information they seek and send them to that information on other websites via links on the search results page, which set the standard for search engines. This has radically changed and it can have a significant impact on SEO.
According to the Wall Street Journal, ten years ago, when Google was just about to go Public, Larry Page said he wanted to get users “out of Google and to the right places as fast as possible.” The right place at that time was someone else’s website. Now Google wants to do just the opposite and keep users in the “Google Universe” as much as possible.
The Google Knowledge base and recent changes to the local search algorithm mean that Google is showing more and more “information” on the search results page rather than a list of links to information that matches a search query. For example, if you search for a restaurant you are shown a photo of the restaurant, reviews, the address and other key details that most mobile searchers are looking for. This means these viewers are no longer linking into the actual restaurant website.
This can potentially be a game changer for SEO and for driving traffic to your website. At the very least make sure you have optimized your website for mobile and local search so that when Google goes to list your information, they can find it. Now is the time to have a conversation with your SEO expert to ensure you are positioning your website for Google’s new paradigm going forward.