While the July 2021 core update is still rolling out, there seems to be another possible local ranking update widely affecting local search results. The fluctuations in local search results are very much aligned with the July 2021 core update.
Local RankFlux has picked high volatility during this period across all industries, with peaks on July 3rd, 9th, and 10th. For hotels and B&Bs, the spike was seen on July 8th.
What Are People Saying?
The movements in search results were also confirmed by SEOs at the Local Search Forum. Joy Hawkins gave us an insight into the change in trends she had noticed with this update,
“The main pattern I saw was that the business name having keywords didn’t matter as much as before and that businesses with tons of reviews were appearing instead.”
Google’s Official Response
While asked if a core update can impact the search results, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed the unlikely possibility. Hence, leading us to an insight that a possible local search ranking update could have rolled out in this period, which could have resulted in these local SERP changes.
It doesn't really
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) July 12, 2021
What Next – Dealing With This Update
As it goes with any unconfirmed algorithm update, the best advice would be to wait for a while and see how things turn out in the coming weeks.
If you’re diving into debugging right away, you should start with comparing which local pages on your website having been affected the most during the given period and see if there is a trend in your industry (similar to how Joy Hawkins was able to figure out businesses with more reviews getting more attention than before).
This comparison often yields interesting data that helps give you a better understanding of why the pages were affected, as well as even inform some things you may want to do to mitigate the effects…