Google finally confirms the November 2019 local search update

Google has confirmed the November 2019 local search update on Twitter. What has changed, and what do you have to do to keep your local rankings?

local SEO

What exactly has changed?

Google now uses neural matching to go beyond the exact words in business name or description. This helps Google to understand conceptually how these might be related to the words searchers use and their intents.

In other words, your business listing might be shown for seach terms that do not appear in your business name or description.

The update has fully rolled out, rankings can change

Google confirmed that this was a global launch covering countries and languages worldwide. The update has fully rolled out:

Just like regular search results, the new local search results can change over time.

What do you have to do now?

Google says that you don’t have to change anything:

There are some things that you can do. For example, you should have a complete Google My Business profile, you should upload photos and videos, you should verify your locations, keep your hours accurate, and you should respond to reviews.

How does Google rank local results?

Google ranks local results based on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for a search.

For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.

Is your website listed in Google’s local search results?

Use the local SEO tools in SEOprofiler to ensure that your web pages can be found in the right locations. For example, you get ranking checks on city-level, and you can track the positions of businesses that do not have a website:

Local SEO

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".