Google has announced a new update for Google Maps which will better search within your local area. With this change, you’ll be able to find specific businesses that are nearby in addition to learning more about them. Additionally, the update includes sharing options and improved data sorting capabilities.
Google has revealed that a local search ranking upgrade, dubbed the November 2021 local search update, took place between November 30th and December 8th. This upgrade was about “rebalancing several elements we evaluate in creating local search results,” according to Google.
Why should we be concerned? Significant local ranking adjustments in Google Maps and local pack results may have caught your attention. This, together with the new local interface upgrade, might have resulted in traffic fluctuations for your company or clients.
So we now have evidence from Google that a substantial user interface change to the local pack results occurred at the same time as a local ranking upgrade.
This is the confirmation. This was verified by Google on Twitter:
Our local search update for November 2021 is now complete. It started on November 30 and ended on December 8. It included adjusting a number of parameters that go into creating local search results. The following general business advice remains unchanged: https://t.co/uyXFfmUEIR
December 16, 2021 — Google Search Central (@googlesearchc)
It was predicted by local SEOs. Yes, the local SEO community saw it, which is why I think Google acknowledged it after the event. I recently published an article regarding local fluctuations, and we requested Google to confirm it after the report. Now, two weeks after it began rolling out and a week after it ended spreading out, Google has chosen to confirm it.
Here’s Google’s Danny Sullivan claiming he doesn’t have anything to confirm right now, then later confirming it.
Timing. Keep in mind the timing: Not only is this shortly before the holidays, as we previously said, but we also had a November 2021 core upgrade complete on November 30th and a December product reviews update begin on December 1st.
More on Google’s recent changes
This year, Google has made a number of changes. This year, Google released a number of known upgrades as well as a number of unconfirmed ones. The July 2021 core upgrade, Google MUM went out in June for COVID names and was gently extended for other features in September, in that order (but MUM is unrelated to core updates). The verified changes were then June 28th spam update, June 23rd spam update, Google page experience update, Google predator algorithm update, June 2021 core update, July 2021 core update, July link spam update, and November spam update. On December 1st, we also got the December 2021 product reviews update.
Updates to the core. The most recent prior core update was the November 2021 core update, which was hard and fast to roll out, followed by the July 2021 core update, which was also quick to roll out (similar to this one), and finally the June 2021 core update, which was sluggish to roll out but significant. Then there came the December 2020 core update, which was much larger than the May 2020 core update, which was likewise large and comprehensive and took a couple of weeks to properly roll out. Prior to that, there was the January 2020 core upgrade, which we discussed here. The core update from September 2019 was the one before that. Many SEOs and webmasters thought the upgrade was weaker than prior core updates since it didn’t have as much of an effect. In November, Google issued another upgrade, this time focused on local rankings. More information regarding previous Google upgrades may be found here.
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Barry Schwartz is a SagaReach Marketing Contributing Editor and a member of the SMX programming team. RustyBrick, a digital consulting business located in New York, is his company. He’s also the founder of Search Engine Roundtable, a renowned search site focused on advanced search engine marketing subjects. Cartoon Barry is Barry’s personal blog, and he may be followed on Twitter here.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the last Google search update?
A: The last update was on 2018-01-29.
What are the latest updates in Google search algorithm?
A: The latest updates in Google search algorithm are hard to say. What we do know is that the September 29, 2017 update saw a dramatic drop of rankings for blackhat and dark web. This could have been due to new guidelines on how such content should be handled by those who participate in SEO work.
Has Google had an update?
A: Unfortunately, I am unable to answer this question.