Google's New Local Search Update

Enhancing your business’s local search marketing strategies is crucial to establish a strong online presence. The major search engines, including Google, consistently update their algorithms and assign varying values to different types of content. As a result, it is vital for businesses to stay well-informed about the performance of their online presence.

In this blog post, we will delve into the latest updates on Google’s local search algorithm and provide valuable insights on optimizing your business’s listing to maintain a competitive edge.

Let’s start by refreshing our understanding of local SEO and its significance.

What is Local SEO? Local SEO, also known as local search engine optimization, encompasses a range of digital marketing strategies aimed at improving your business’s ranking in local searches.

Local searches typically involve queries such as “Thai restaurants near me.” When users enter such queries into a search engine, the search results display businesses located in close proximity to the user’s current location. The first 3-5 search results, accompanied by a map view, form what is commonly referred to as the Local Pack or Local Map Pack.

Each search engine has its own set of criteria for ranking businesses in local search results. Although Google holds the position of the largest search engine, it frequently cross-references business information with data provided by other search engines. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your business’s information is accurate and up to date across all search engine platforms.

Given the high value associated with securing a prominent place in local search results, we are delighted to share the latest updates on local search engine optimization recently implemented by Google. These updates will enable your business to remain relevant and secure a place in the coveted Local Pack.

Traditional Local Search Ranking Factors Remain Unchanged The tried and tested optimization techniques for local search marketing continue to play an indispensable role in achieving a prominent position in Google’s search results.

To help you remember the primary objective of aligning your business’s listing with Google’s algorithm changes, remember the acronym EEAT:

E – Experience

E – Expertise

A – Authority

T – Trust

When search engine algorithms analyze your business’s listing and content, their primary aim is to determine whether your business possesses firsthand experience relevant to the user’s search, exhibits expertise in the queried subject, serves as an authoritative source in the respective domain, and can be deemed trustworthy.

To ensure optimal results, it is essential to keep the following basic information up to date within your business’s listing:

Local Search Update Tips

  • Location/Business address (if applicable)
  • Business name
  • Business phone number and contact information
  • Business website
  • Your business’s listing should be claimed by a representative from your organization
  • Promptly respond to fresh reviews and ensure timely responses to reviews
  • Create a localized landing page or microsite that caters to specific inquiries or frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Showcase high-quality photos
  • Display accurate operating hours
  • Define your business category accurately
  • Provide payment information if applicable
  • Craft a comprehensive profile that effectively showcases your unique offerings

When creating and editing your business’s search engine listing, make a concerted effort to provide as much relevant information as possible. Google tends to favor businesses with complete profiles that align well with the user’s search query. While updating your business’s photos, website content and promptly addressing reviews can be time-consuming, you can save valuable time by entrusting these tasks to a reliable local SEO company. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your business maintains a competitive edge across all search engines while having more time to focus on your core operations.

In addition to the traditional ranking factors, there have been a few noteworthy changes in Google’s local search algorithm that you should be aware of:

  1. Putting the Spotlight on the Q&A Section Google now places greater emphasis on the photos and Q&A sections of business listings compared to the past. This means it’s crucial to consistently post pictures and keep an eye on the types of questions users are asking your business.

Crafting thoughtful responses to these questions not only leaves a positive impression on users but also improves your ranking with the algorithm. Regularly reviewing and addressing these inquiries can offer valuable insights to enhance your marketing efforts and make information more accessible. If time is a constraint, you can even experiment with AI or autofill response technology to streamline the process.

In terms of photos, having 7-12 pictures attached to your business’s Google listing is generally sufficient. Just remember to update them regularly and ensure they provide useful visuals for users researching your business.

  1. Deprioritizing Google Posts There has been a shift in Google’s approach toward the importance of Google Posts in business listings. This is excellent news for many business owners as it saves them valuable time! Google no longer provides data reports on the performance of posts, and we have verified this through our own testing. When our marketing experts stopped creating posts for business listings, they noticed no decline in search rankings. So, you can confidently remove the task of creating Google Posts from your to-do list!

These are the notable changes in local search marketing on Google’s platform! By optimizing your business’s local search efforts in line with these updates, you can ensure that your business maintains its ranking and continues to deliver genuine value to users.

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