What You Need to Know About Google’s Largest Local Algorithm Update in 5 Years

24 Mar, 2022 Google News

There have been quite a few Google algorithm updates in the last few years, affecting both local, paid, and organic aspects of the search engine. The ‘Vicinity Update’ is the largest local algorithm update to occur in the last five years, This update began in late November and concluded in mid-December, 2021.

This update included shifts to the search engine results page. Businesses that had ranked across markets for extended periods of time were hit the hardest, which aided smaller businesses who had previously had issues ranking in competitive markets.

What is the Vicinity Update? What are Some Pros & Cons?

The Vicinity Update is a natural successor update to the Possum Update that occurred in 2016. Possum was an update that increased the proximity factor value in search rankings, meaning that the results in the search are weighted a bit heavier based on the searcher’s physical location.

The Vicinity Update not only affected the local Maps list and how businesses were listed in comparison to each other, but on Google Search pages the historical 3-pack was expanded. Users are now seeing a 4, or even sometimes a 5, pack. This is paired with a hyper-focused square map, compared to the old, market-wide rectangular map.

Why is the Vicinity Update Integral For Your Firm’s Growth?

The Vicinity update helps aid in growth for businesses because of three factors: proximity, relevance, and prominence. Proximity implies the best search results for the intent of being near the searcher. Relevance is when Google recognizes how well a local business profile matches a search term or phrase. And prominence is how popular a business is in a given geographic area, based on other trackable aspects for the business like website clicks, direction requests, and reviews.

Just as before the update, it is recommended to update business information to reflect its current status and remain visible in search results. Including as much detail about the location and hours of operation is crucial. Including any additional relevant information and images on a business profile can only help. This makes it easier for Google to pull details about your business and show it in relevant searches.

Contact Us at BluShark Digital For More Information

Considering the changes that Google makes to the algorithm, it may be difficult to keep up with them while serving your clients at your firm. If you would like to see how this update can aid in getting more exposure for your firm, contact us today.