Yesterday Google announced 40 search updates on its official Google Search Blog. 3 of the announcements were related to local searches so I thought I would discuss one of those changes in this post. I have personally noticed some of the effects of these changes for months now throughout various client accounts and research. Even though the announcement just happened, these changes have been taking place for quite some time now.
Improvements to ranking for local search results
“Improvements to ranking for local search results. [launch codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.”
Google is implying here that rankings the Local Algorithm will be influenced more by the traditional organic algorithm. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise. The first signal of this would have been Google introducing the Blended Algorithm and Blending results back in 2010.
Since the introduction of blended results many Local SEO experts have questioned, speculated, blogged, discussed why some queries trigger Local results and others trigger Blended results. In some cities “dentist” triggers pure local results and other cities “dentist” triggers a blended result. Why? The most common speculation is that it is random, that Google was trying or testing the algorithms.