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- Jul 18, 2012
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I just tried comparing data we had on a client from Oct. 17 to new data pulled just now. Previously the average distance between the search location and the results in the local pack was 9.98 mi, now it's 4.87.
You'd have to do something a lot more rigorous than some quick Excel work to get a full picture, but it does seem that a number of results that were ranking from farther away no longer are. Previously competitors were ranking around this client from 60 miles away, now no one's ranking from farther than 17 miles.
I'll take a closer look at the data tomorrow and see if other clients are seeing something similar!
Hmm. I wonder if it's further tightening of the proximity factor. Has anyone compared Local Falcon reports before/after?
Update - I compared a several other clients' before/during data.
Neither the median nor the average distance between search location and ranked listing changed all that much - so I think I'll drop the proximity theory, at least for now.
Look at the top 5 in the map pack. Not the top 3, then you will see it's a proximity update. Of course brand authority, age of gmb listing, and etc still outweigh the new update, but this is still a proximity update.
Maybe something to consider?
@JoyHawkins @Austin_Holds . Thanks for the great start on investigating this algo update. My client in long beach still ranks #3 nationally for 'long beach carpet cleaning' but local searches--where we used to be #3--are fluctuating wildly. I agree with @JoyHawkins that it's best to wait this out. Here are three early observations:
1) service area businesses are being given more authority in 3-pack rankings
--in some cases even service area businesses that are outside of the keyword + city searched
2) proximity searches appear to be even more approximate making it more difficult to rank broadly within a geo/city search
3) service area is becoming a factor (though limited) for NAP businesses
Again, once this settles out, my guess is we'll see more trends -- and maybe some of these will no longer matter -- but thus far, I'm seeing this equally across multiple verticals for my clients