BenFisher

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The basics of this are not much has really changed "except" for the fact that there is a more enhanced version of semantic search at play in local results, that is the HUGE part (well along with an official word from Google about a local update). Google has always sought to identify and relate an entity to the meaning of words, phrases, and concepts. This is awesome for those who optimize for humans versus just search.

Also,
The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents...

This statement alone is huge for those of us who felt that name stuffing was granting an unfair advantage. I believe it means that local is getting the treatment that organic had applied and that maybe keyword stuffing will not be as effective someday soon.
 

Fabiano

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One thing I noticed is that results now seem to show a keyword reference when there is such. For example, if I search for "best pizza" I will see listings with reviews that mention the keywords typed in, this is not a new thing, but what didn't show up before and I can see now is that it also says that/when the website mentions best pizza.
 

gabagoon

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Not sure why everyone is over complicating this update. Google mass released this update that they thought was good to go and obviously failed. There is no "Swapping" if that was the case, it would be swapping businesses in the map pack across all keywords (Check your long tails)

GMB experts are only theorizing what is happening. When the evidence is in our face. They are tweaking the algo update everyday, and it's causing mass fluctuations. Does google care? No, are they making tons of money while "updating" their mess? yes. How? Desperate businesses resorting to adwords.

You will see these fluctations for the next 2 months. An update this massive was never supposed to be released with fluctuations like this that can bankrupt good businesses. Why do you think this is the first time google announced an update like this "Neural matching". It's so they don't get caught with their adword gains, and possibly be sued.

"ok cool theory, but what do I do in the mean time?"

Work on brand authority of your GMB (Some of you may not understand what this means or how to, if not you're too focused on organic seo, while gmb is a different beast)
 
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IMP

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Not sure why everyone is over complicating this update. Google mass released this update that they thought was good to go and obviously failed. There is no "Swapping" if that was the case, it would be swapping businesses in the map pack across all keywords (Check your long tails)

GMB experts are only theorizing what is happening. When the evidence is in our face. They are tweaking the algo update everyday, and it's causing mass fluctuations. Does google care? No, are they making tons of money while "updating" their mess? yes. How? Desperate businesses resorting to adwords.

You will see these fluctations for the next 2 months. An update this massive was never supposed to be released with fluctuations like this that can bankrupt good businesses. Why do you think this is the first time google announced an update like this "Neural matching". It's so they don't get caught with their adword gains, and possibly be sued.

"ok cool theory, but what do I do in the mean time?"

Work on brand authority of your GMB (Some of you may not understand what this means or how to, if not you're too focused on organic seo, while gmb is a different beast)

Well said...
 

ray

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Not sure why everyone is over complicating this update. Google mass released this update that they thought was good to go and obviously failed. There is no "Swapping" if that was the case, it would be swapping businesses in the map pack across all keywords (Check your long tails)

GMB experts are only theorizing what is happening. When the evidence is in our face. They are tweaking the algo update everyday, and it's causing mass fluctuations. Does google care? No, are they making tons of money while "updating" their mess? yes. How? Desperate businesses resorting to adwords.

You will see these fluctations for the next 2 months. An update this massive was never supposed to be released with fluctuations like this that can bankrupt good businesses. Why do you think this is the first time google announced an update like this "Neural matching". It's so they don't get caught with their adword gains, and possibly be sued.

"ok cool theory, but what do I do in the mean time?"

Work on brand authority of your GMB (Some of you may not understand what this means or how to, if not you're too focused on organic seo, while gmb is a different beast)

BRAND authority WHAT A FANCEY WORD you mean like the rest of us you are in the dark on what is going on......
otherwise how do you explain sudden drops and gains every 48 hrs and all the spammy ads outranking good local listings......?
 

gabagoon

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BRAND authority WHAT A FANCEY WORD you mean like the rest of us you are in the dark on what is going on......
otherwise how do you explain sudden drops and gains every 48 hrs and all the spammy ads outranking good local listings......?

If you read properly you'd see that I mentioned, constant fluctuations and that we would see this over the next 2 months. Huge updates like this take a while to stabilize. Works out in googles favor too. They basically mention that they are targeting keyword stuffing, yet keyword stuffed listings are doing better. Treat your GMB as it's own entity. In the next few months I predict on page is going to dial down even more as a ranking signal for GMB ranking.

Here's a hint. Google plus failed, what do you think they will do to replace it? GMB is going to get new big updates and changes in the next few months.
 

JoyHawkins

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I predict on page is going to dial down even more as a ranking signal for GMB ranking.

We are seeing the complete opposite. Onsite factors were the main thing we saw driving increases for this update.
 

gabagoon

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We are seeing the complete opposite. Onsite factors were the main thing we saw driving increases for this update.

A bit too early to say since we are still seeing major ranking fluctuations but in the long run it could change due to the emphasis they are putting in GMB in the last month or so. I'm seeing GMB's with no sites linked to it doing well too.
 

JoyHawkins

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I'm seeing GMB's with no sites linked to it doing well too.

Right, but we saw this before this update as well. Spam almost always ranks well in the immediate area if it has a keyword-stuffed fake name. It generally doesn't have too far of a reach due to the lack of prominence though.
 

gabagoon

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Right, but we saw this before this update as well. Spam almost always ranks well in the immediate area if it has a keyword-stuffed fake name. It generally doesn't have too far of a reach due to the lack of prominence though.

This neural matching was supposed to tone that down. Hasn't really. On another note, off-page seo is playing a big role in this update. Have a look.
 

ray

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So what would happan if your real business brand is a keyword ie. Service + city name and that is the way it was branded and ranked for years dose that mean that you will be punished for that am I understanding the picture....?
 

gabagoon

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So what would happan if your real business brand is a keyword ie. Service + city name and that is the way it was branded and ranked for years dose that mean that you will be punished for that am I understanding the picture....?

No punishment, their goal is to decrease the ranking signal for keyword filled titles. You'll have to rank harder in other ways. They still haven't achieved this, but looks like it's their goal right now. So if your competitors are doing other things right too, they can outrank you.
 

Yan Gilbert

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So what would happan if your real business brand is a keyword ie. Service + city name and that is the way it was branded and ranked for years dose that mean that you will be punished for that am I understanding the picture....?


That's possible as a side effect. The problem that Google has is that if it tones down the strength of the listing name element, searches for Brand names get hurt as well.

This might be a similar path to what happened when Google was dealing with exact match domain urls on the organic side. The way it reduced EM domain spam was by giving more power to brand and content. Also, backlinks with keyword rich anchors might actually be hurting a site as they can be considered spammy.

In local, this might be a more difficult puzzle for Google to balance out because many businesses have the name of the city and/or main service in the name.
 

ray

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Exactly about 90% of businesess have that and not in a spammy matter just because it makes sense as well we can not all create a brand out of just any name. Seems a bit senseless to punish local businesess that had work done on them for years just because they use a keyword or city signal in the name....
Am I wrong here...? Its not like you can rank. Based on name only here that was never the case..... you must have great social credit to get ranked as always.... so punishment over a biz name seems a bit of an unfair update
 

JoyHawkins

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Its not like you can rank. Based on name only here

You can rank based on name only. The top 3 here have no websites, reviews, or citations and they aren't even using the proper category. It's sad but this is why spam is so popular in the local results.

Screenshot_20191205_203555_com.android.chrome.jpg
 

ray

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ohhh wow that is something you don't see in NY here you work years to be on top.yes that is clearly spam Joy but I am talking about good solid ranking GMB with posts reviews local presence that happen to have a keyword name which is BTW registered DBA
 

ray

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Sooo again our local listing dropped from number 1 to number 40 this is crazy it stays up for 48 hrs then drops for 48hrs and this is a listing that was number 1 for the past 3 years any ideas....?
 

ed5150

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A bit too early to say since we are still seeing major ranking fluctuations but in the long run it could change due to the emphasis they are putting in GMB in the last month or so. I'm seeing GMB's with no sites linked to it doing well too.

The only consistent thing I am seeing is that the less info in your GMB profile the better. Our business has been replaced in the map pack almost entirely by businesses that are much farther away from the search point (up to 15 miles further in some cases = totally irrelevant to the search) , have low/no review rating , are unverified and often have no website linked.

I cannot fathom how this is even the early stages of something with "intelligence"
 

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