Google Changes and How It Affects Contractors

In the past six months there has been many changes over at Google, including Google Places, Google Panda and their launch of their new social network Google+. As a home improvement contractor managing all these changes can be time consuming and overwhelming, so I just wanted to give some tidbits and updates on what you need to know without having to dredge through all the information you may be hearing.

Google Places: It appears that Google Places is in a constant state of flux. From deleting reviews, to as of today, eliminating descriptions it appears that Google is revamping their Places section to coincide with their new Google+ network, which I will discuss further. They have eliminated third party review snippets that used to exist. Instead there are links to review sites. Google is now relying entirely on its own reviews content on the page. This means that you should have your clients place their reviews directly onto the Google Places page instead of using 3rd party reviewers. Another Google Places update appears that they are now allowing almost anyone to upload photos. This can be good for contractors, as they can have clients simply upload project photos directly to your Google Places page.

Google Panda: A few months ago Google launched a major change in their algorithm, which was intended to eliminate “spammy” sites or article bases that were created simply for SEO. Unlike other major updates, it appears that Google is allowing this new algorithm to be a “rolling” update with constant changes. At Footbridge Media we have noticed an increase in directory sites, like, yellowpages, etc to begin showing in localized search results. I assume that Google will fix this eventually, in order to show better results for users. But their has been significant changes that are here to say. The good thing, is that these changes are corresponding with Footbridge Media’s website management program.

Google+: I am going to keep this short for contractors. If you are using Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis, then I would insist that you create A Google+ profile. As of today, the Google+ network is for only individuals and they do not currently have a Company Page system like Facebook does. This should be coming out in the next few months. At Footbridge Media we will also be installing Google+1 buttons on all client sites as this social tool appears to have more optimization weight then Facebook’s LIKE button. If you are on Google+ make sure to put me in your circles, which I will be using daily:


Aaron O’Hanlon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Footbridge Media, a digital marketing agency, specializing in the contracting industry. It is his mission to create awareness of marketing online to the home improvement industry and to educate, inform and assist contractors in taking over their own online presence.

  • John

    As always, great information. Thank you

  • Tommy Johnson

    I don’t know if this is panda related or not, but I have jumped to number four for a certain keyword phrase on places. This was compared to being buried under every other listing in the city because I am located in another town outside my main service area. 

    Whatever did it I like it, and want to replicate it for other keyword phrases. I don’t understand it because adding an (s) as in painting contractors totally changes the results.