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Hi all,

I was hoping to see if anyone else has been seeing changes in the local pack over the past week?

My team and I have been seeing tons of new businesses, that were not in the local pack before, all ranking ahead of others. And the only thing they have in common is a high level of reviews.

Keyword stuffers are still ranking up there as well, but the newcomers with high reviews don't even have their main category as the most relevant to the search. (Ex: Website Designers are ranking for SEO terms above all other Internet Marketing Providers/Marketing Agencies that used to rank)

I know Google released another product reviews update on Dec 1, but in the past, I don't believe it was ever noted to impact local as well.

Curious on everyone's thoughts!
 

seosemsocial

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Here is one example I'm seeing in the home services vertical. Companies with exact keywords in their name are now taking up 2 of the 3 top spots in Maps. I know in some verticals/markets companies with keywords in their name were demoted after the update, but not in this example.

Three strong listings were all demoted out of this 3-pack and replaced by turd listings.

furnace-repair-denver-maps-3pack--1102022.jpg

Good old Google
 

JoyHawkins

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Companies with exact keywords in their name are now taking up 2 of the 3 top spots in Maps. I know in some verticals/markets companies with keywords in their name were demoted after the update, but not in this example.

There are still keyword-rich listings ranking all over the place. The update didn't change that - it just severely shrunk the radius for how far away they rank. So now, if you have keywords in the business name it no longer makes it so you can rank across an entire city - what users see when they search is a lot more varied based on how far away they are from the business in the search results.
 

seosemsocial

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There are still keyword-rich listings ranking all over the place. The update didn't change that - it just severely shrunk the radius for how far away they rank. So now, if you have keywords in the business name it no longer makes it so you can rank across an entire city - what users see when they search is a lot more varied based on how far away they are from the business in the search results.

Did it also shrink the radius for how far away non keyword-rich listings rank?
Thanks
 

Theo1313

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Pretty sure it basically just shrank the radius in general, regardless. I think that is why they call it the vicinity update.

For service-based businesses, it has not been great but I am sure for local coffee shops it has been great. I am still hoping for some kind of rebalancing because every day I still see a negative in search and maps views. Not sure what more I can do because I was already doing every best practice there is in the book and beyond. Other than opening more locations in every country, I guess some of us have to accept the loss and hope for other streams to pop up.
 

itstaymc

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It definitely shook up personal injury. I have had clients in the top 2 for the last few years going to 8 and 13. The top results that are showing do not make any sense. I am hoping for a correction soon.

This happened to us (PI law firm in Las Vegas) our traffic dropped from 4800 views per month to MAYBE 1200. Our competitors with a higher review count (who are further away in proximity) now appear before we do. I'm really hoping it reverts.
 

Janell H

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What will Google do (or what are Google's policies) if a client's service is part of their registered LLC business name and can also provide legal paperwork to Google for confirmation? Seems like Google cannot argue or penalize a listing if it's actually their business name!
 

SeoSaur

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Has anyone had any insight or update on this issue? Noticing with a personal injury client that they've dropped significantly since late last year for personal injury KWs. Is there any solution here?
 

JoyHawkins

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@Janell H - Gogole has no issues (policy-wise) on a business using their real name so you should have no issue there. Keep in mind that policies and ranking are completely different things. The people that deal with suspensions and violations of Google's guidelines don't set how the algorithm works or know much about it.

@SeoSaur I've been doing really in-depth audits for businesses that were hurt by the algorithm update. There are definitley tons of strategies that still work and what we focus on varies a ton based on the industry & market. I'd suggest looking at what pages and keywords are currently driving conversions and base your strategy on that along with what you're "close" to acheiving. I love putting empahsis on things where the client is currently 5th or 6th because even small improvements usually make a difference.
 

Jeremy Booze

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@seosemsocial I have done 2 write ups on it thusfar with some observations:


Joy, I'm interested in what dot plot mapping analytic tool you are using to produce the visual ranking analytics seen in the image below. I know of one SaaS that provides this but I would be interested if there is another that offers this solution.

Screen Shot 2022-02-06 at 11.04.15 AM.jpg
 

sinbad10

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Our two major competitors hired agency's this year and one of them started to buy out every other company in area they could get their hands on. A 3rd company within our service area also hired a large agency but are not located in our main location. Both of our major competitors review profiles unnaturally grew to 3 figures (Uh huh) and I've had to start reporting B.S. GBP's that started to show up in our service areas.

The company that just knocked us out did a couple simple page tweaks and is magically growing reviews at a very quick pace as well. They do not have an overall well designed and optimized website either.

example-6th.jpg

Hey @Rob, May I know which tool did you use to analyse to get this report? Thank you
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey All! I am seeing some major shifts for some businesses that got destroyed with this update (rankings are back closer to what they were before). Is anyone else seeing this?
 

Blueviolet38

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Hey All! I am seeing some major shifts for some businesses that got destroyed with this update (rankings are back closer to what they were before). Is anyone else seeing this?

Hey Joy. I have also seen some major improvements for service companies I work for in recent days. It is great and I hope it holds!
 

JWDM

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Hey All! I am seeing some major shifts for some businesses that got destroyed with this update (rankings are back closer to what they were before). Is anyone else seeing this?

Yes, HUGE improvements. I have several personal injury clients that regained top rankings after a big hit Nov/Dec, it feels like something corrected.
 

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