Google confirms algorithm update to local search results
This update involved a “rebalancing” of ranking factors Google considers when generating local search results.
This update is officially being referred to as the November 2021 local search update, although the changes likely wouldn’t have been felt until the first week of December.
Our November 2021 local search update has concluded. It began Nov 30 and ran through Dec 8. It involved a rebalancing of various factors we consider in generating local search results. General guidance for businesses remains the same as covered here: https://t.co/uyXFfmUEIR
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 16, 2021
Google’s guidance regarding this update is to continue following local SEO best practices, which are linked to in the tweet embedded above.
Keep in mind the weight of each ranking factor listed in Google’s help guide has been rebalanced.
The ranking factors for Google’s local search results are:
- Relevance: how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.
- Distance: how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search.
- Prominence: how well known a business is
Google never gives exact details regarding the weight of each ranking factor. So perhaps the best way to respond to this update is to rebalance your efforts.
For example, if you were focused more on optimizing for relevance by beefing up your Google Business Profile with information, maybe now is the time to focus more on the prominence of your business
November was an eventful month in SEO, with a number of Google algorithm shakeups.
However, it should be fairly easy to determine if you were impacted by the November 2021 local search update specifically.
A local search update would only impact the ranking of your Google Business Profile in the local pack.
If the ranking of your business profile is unchanged, then chances are good you haven’t been adversely impacted by this update.