Google Announces Local Search Ranking Update – Here’s what you should know

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A local search ranking update has been announced by Google. The search giant confirmed over Twitter that it ran a local search ranking update, named the “November 2021 local search update,” between November 30th and December 8th. 

According to Google, the goal of the new local search update involved “rebalancing of various factors we consider in generating local search results.”

So what changed?

Businesses might have experienced a change in business traffic or the businesses of their clients. The change in traffic could be because of a couple of things – a notable local ranking change or difference within both Google Maps results and in local pack results. In addition, the change in traffic could also have resulted because of a new local interface update.

The confirmation from Google establishes the fact that a major user interface update was made not only to the local pack results but that around the same time, the search giant also ran a local ranking update. 

It’s important to know that while the new local search ranking update is being called the “November 2021 local search update,” – any resultant changes probably became evident only after the first week of December.

What changes because of the new local search ranking update?

In its tweet Google says that general guidance or businesses remain the same – in other words, businesses should simply continue with local SEO best practices

Ranking Factors that Influence Google’s Local Search Results

Three critical ranking factors influence local search results. These include the following;

Relevance – does a local Business Profile align with search queries?

Distance – what is the distance of a potential search result from the location term that is used within search queries? 

Prominence – this refers to how prominent or well known the business in search queries is?

With the new local search ranking update, Google has rebalanced the weight or influence of each of the above-ranking factors.

Another important aspect of the new local search ranking update is this – the impact of the update will be felt only in the ranking of Google Business Profile within the local pack of a business. 

For businesses, this might be a good time to revisit all the three local ranking factors and see how best each of the factors can be improved or optimized for local search results. 

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