More threads by Timur

Timur

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Feb 2, 2023
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Hello,

my business was steadily improving rankings on maps, thanks to this forum for support! Here you can see rankings for the main keyword Jul1 vs Nov2. But yesterday, Nov 2, rankings significantly dropped overnight. The position dropped from 1 to 10, and further. Then, by the end of the day, it recovered most of the rankings. But now it has dropped again! Can anyone tell me what is going on?

The one more bizarre thing in SEO is that my website constantly jumps across positions 2-6 during the day, according to the Google Ads Anonymous preview tool.

I have never seen something like that before.

Maps1Jul23.jpg


Maps1nov23.jpg
 
Has anyone tried messing with their opening hours to see if that helps?
 
Yes, I switched my hours to 24/7 a few days ago to see what impact that might have. I think this has stabilized it a bit, but I don't have a lot of data points yet.

I now rank well evenings, nights, and weekends (times when other similar businesses are closed):

1701187823244.jpg



But during the day, my rankings are significantly worse than they were in October:

1701187949874.jpg


I have noticed that during the day, businesses that in the past would have been way down in the rankings are now higher than me - places that are not even claimed, have no reviews, no posts etc. At this point I'm just going to keep my head down and hope that the situation improves over time, I'm not sure what else I can change.
 
Hey @rod.philip , any updates? Mine is going the same way as you described - I rank 1st when the business opens in the morning, the rank holds for 30 minutes, and then drops.

@JoyHawkins I used several different tools with the same results.

The local flux fluctuates as bad as on Nov 2nd

Screenshot 2023-12-01 165425.jpg
 
Ha! Thanks Joy! Nice to know I wasn't going crazy with the open/closed stuff. AFAIK Brightlocal doesn't let me set the time of the report, so when (in the UK) I get the regular email from them, sometimes it arrives after the business is open, and sometimes when it's closed. I guess Brightlocal and all the others are going to have to (quickly!) implement an option to set the time when the report is run. (Unless they already have that feature and I missed it).
Thank you for the update
 
For those jumping into this not hearing Joy's new theory:

Google Just Added a NEW Local Pack Ranking Factor...


Personally i'm caveating this as "might" be a new ranking factor...furthermore, it's TBD as to what exactly is affected and what categories are affected.

I ascertain this doesn't necessarily make sense for every category...

I wouldn't recommend rushing out and blindly change your business to 24/7 or change all your clients to 24/7 as I'm sure there's much more to come from everyone.
 
It totally could be a bug too. Wouldn't be the first time we saw Google change something major and then rolled it back.
 
Thank you @JoyHawkins !
Working hours definitely affect rankings but I believe there is more to that. For instance, my main competitor has the same business hours as me, and it ranks higher than me during the entire day except for 30 min after opening (weird stuff!). It also has the last review received several months ago, few pictures, fewer updates etc.

In addition to that, my main SEO page fluctuates from 2 to 10 positions during the day. And today it was wiped out of the search results completely! Not even on page 10
 
Ha! Thanks Joy! Nice to know I wasn't going crazy with the open/closed stuff. AFAIK Brightlocal doesn't let me set the time of the report, so when (in the UK) I get the regular email from them, sometimes it arrives after the business is open, and sometimes when it's closed. I guess Brightlocal and all the others are going to have to (quickly!) implement an option to set the time when the report is run. (Unless they already have that feature and I missed it).
Thank you for the update

Hey Chris, Jenny from BrightLocal here. We're looking into what this means for our rankings tools as a priority and will be sure to let you know if any platform or report updates are required. Thanks again!
 
It seems like Google rolled this hourly feature back, all the closed business are ranking pretty high today
Interesting. I'm not seeing that yet but will keep an eye out. I do think it's very likely they might scale it back a bit in the future.

I still see closed listings rank a lot. The queries I find are least likely to show closed businesses are keywords that are very competitive and have competitors that are not all open the same hours.
 
Hey Chris, Jenny from BrightLocal here. We're looking into what this means for our rankings tools as a priority and will be sure to let you know if any platform or report updates are required. Thanks again!

Thanks Jenny! I have a report set to run weekly, but an option to also set the time of day to run it would be perfect (I am still seeing big open/closed fluctuations)!
 
Any SEO professionals here seeing absolutely crazy fluctuations on their December reports? In some cases, clients that have been ranking normally for months have just dropped off the map for multiple keywords.

Seeing this is companies from various industries - from law firms to plumbers and using the Brightlocal tracking tool. In some cases, companies that have no reviews and limited websites are ranking way above established, optimized companies. I've never seen anything quite like this.
 
Any SEO professionals here seeing absolutely crazy fluctuations on their December reports?

Are you able to see what time their report ran? If it rank while the business was closed, it would explain this.
 
@JoyHawkins firstly, thank you for the response! On one report (hotel) the profile is marked closed at the time (report went out at 6.30 am) so that would explain part of it. However, one client - a lawyer - has 24/7 hours and has for months (maybe years?) and just dropped like a rock after consistent rankings. No site changes or profile changes other than adding posts.
 
When lawyers drop like a rock (we've seen this many times) it's usually a filtering issue. Filtering is a big issue in that space.
 
When lawyers drop like a rock (we've seen this many times) it's usually a filtering issue. Filtering is a big issue in that space.
@JoyHawkins I'm certainly not dismissing a filtering issue but this is just really odd. It's six months of progress and then December dropped like a rock with multiple profiles and multiple industries. I think we're looking at something deeper here. Potentially a re-alignment of the algo to account for 24-hour update. I guess we won't know until January.
 

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