I have always been heavily involved in local search since my start in SEO. Recently however with the migration from Google Places to Google Plus Business pages a major change occurred that affected some of our clients local rankings in specific geographic areas. Starting September 18th I ran a test that only tested the weight of link building to my Google Plus Local Business page.
A major client of ours who specializes in Personal Injury law had multiple locations across California. On September 18th I ran a check and noticed that our Plus page which was previously ranked in the A local position before our migrations from Google Places to Google Plus had moved to position E. This was consistent through several locations. Now that being said this page was heavily optimized for the proper keywords from the start which obviously had a great benefit on my test.
My Theory On Linking To Your Plus Page
Based on a lot of new signals we have seen during this transition I assumed that high quality inbound links would have a great and successful impact on the rankings.
Since we have all heard correlation does not mean causation in SEO, I decided to test my theory with multiple Google Plus Local Business verified pages. For each of these that were not ranking I added ten high quality links to each Google Plus page with the city+state+keyword as anchor text. For example one would have been “City State Personal Injury Attorney” and another would have been “Personal Injury Lawyer Serving City State”. This was also to diversify the anchor text.
With only making this one change I saw increases to the “A” position across the board on all of the Google Plus pages. Within six days we had moved up an average of 3 positions to the B position across the board. Within two weeks we were in the “A” position. Today, ten days after the fact the rankings have sustained in the geographic areas we wanted.
What You Should Do Now
Don’t think about just building links to your website anymore. Your Google Plus Business page can rank as well. Build some high quality links to it and watch your rankings move up over time. Need local link building tips? Check out Matt Green’s post 5 Link Building Tactics to Improve Your Local Link Building.