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I'm sure quite a few of you are rejoicing the impact of the vicinity update on your clients because they've climbed in rank thanks to the new hyperlocal focus. Awesome! From our enterprise-level end of things, the results aren't quite so rosy. We saw substantial drops in position across the board and an accompanying loss in visits, though sales remain stable. From what I've been seeing posted around the SEO blogs, there just isn't a lot that can be done to improve position after this change for listings that are already optimized. It's coming down to the location of the searcher versus your business, leaving us feeling a bit helpless.

So, what now? Do we just ride it out, deal with the decreased traffic and hope for the best, or are there actual changes that can be made to help increase rankings again? Should we start hitting the digital and traditional ads harder to compensate? What's the best move for businesses which lost out in this change?
 

Phil Rozek

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@Annika Neudecker, this is where it's worth pinning down where you took a hit and where you're still OK (and maybe even where you're doing better). One thing I've found with these updates is that different pages and terms are affected differently, or not at all. Almost never is the whole site/business down, for all terms, and for all locations.

So I'd sift through Search Console. Which pages were most affected? Which terms lost the most impressions, and when? Did you rank for multiple "money" terms, or only one big one? Were you ranking for those terms organically, or on the map, or both? (The organic vs. Maps question is probably the biggest one to look into.) Did they all start sliding or dropping at the same time, or at various times?

If you're enterprise / multi-location, are some locations still riding high (or at least higher than others)? Do all locations use the same landing page URL, or do they use "location" pages? Any patterns as to GMB pages that point to the homepage vs. GMB pages pointing to location pages?

There's always more you can do, whether that's amping up internal links, fleshing out pages that are still ranking well, trying different landing page URLs, developing your location pages more, looking for lost/dropped links, creating more pages that could rank for longer-tail terms, etc. It's mainly a question of which wheel is squeaky and what is involved in giving it some grease.
 

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