Google Local Search Results Shifting After Google Maps Bomb Fix?
Google seems to have made an update to their local search ranking factors, where many local SEO experts and reporters are noticing major shifts in the local results.
Days after Google apologized for the Google Maps Googlebomb racist results, it seems the local search results have drastically shifted. It is unclear if it is related to the Google Maps Googlebomb algorithm update or something else.
We have tons of local SEOs reporting major shifts in the local results including Mike Blumenthal who said the location results are screwy, showing examples of how Google is having issues with showing your current location when searching. But it goes beyond that, it seems that even when the location is set properly, the local results displayed in the web search results are off.
Linda Buquet in the Local Search Forums said there are now more national organic and less localized organic results showing up in the Google search results. She is noticing so many different changes recently that it is to the point of scary.
But Mozcast shows changes from the 15th and it seems, based on what I am seeing, the changed didn’t start until the 23rd or 24th of May, which was well after the 15th and shortly after Google’s apology.
Google said then:
We’ve started to update our ranking system to address the majority of these searches—this will gradually roll out globally and we’ll continue to refine our systems over time.
I suspect whatever we are seeing in Google’s local results now, is directly related to this Google Maps bomb.
We have asked Google for a comment on these changes and will report back when we hear something on the record.
Postscript: See our later story named Google Won’t Say If Google Local Changes Due To Googlebomb Fix.