Google has confirmed that it ran a local search ranking update between November 30th and December 8th — it is calling the November 2021 local search update. Google said this update was about “rebalancing of various factors we consider in generating local search results.”
Why we care. You may have noticed significant local ranking changes in the Google Maps and local pack results. This, along with the new local interface update, may have resulted in traffic changes to your business or client businesses.
So we now have confirmation from Google that there was both a major user interface change to the local pack results and a local ranking update around the same time.
The confirmation. Google confirmed this via Twitter:
Local SEOs called it. Yes, the local SEO community saw this and I believe that is why Google has confirmed it after the fact. I wrote a story about the local fluctuations recently, and we asked Google to confirm it after the story and now Google decided to confirm it, two weeks after it started to roll out and a week after it finished rolling out.
Here is Danny Sullivan of Google first saying he has nothing to confirm yet, and then confirming it later.
Timing. Keep in mind the timing: Not only is this right before the holidays, which we wrote about before, but we also had a November 2021 core update finish rolling out on November 30th and a December product reviews update start to roll out December 1st.
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Other Google updates this year.This year we had a number of confirmed updates from Google and many that were not confirmed . In the most recent order, we had: TheJuly 2021 core update,Google MUM rolled outin June for COVID names and waslightly expandedfor some features in September (but MUM is unrelated to core updates). Then, theJune 28 spam update, theJune 23rd spam update, theGoogle page experience update, theGoogle predator algorithm update, theJune 2021 core update, theJuly 2021 core update, the Julylink spam update, and theNovember spam updaterounded out the confirmed updates. We also had the December 2021 product reviews update on December 1st.
Previous core updates.The most recent previous core update was theNovember 2021 core updatewhich rolled outhard and fast, then theJuly 2021 core updatewhich wasquick to roll out(kind of like this one) followed by theJune 2021 core updateand that update wasslow to roll out but a big one. Then we had theDecember 2020 core updateand the December updatewas very big, bigger than theMay 2020 core update, and that update was alsobig and broadand took acouple of weeks to fully roll out. Before that was theJanuary 2020 core update, we had some analysis on that updateover here. The one prior to that was theSeptember 2019 core update. That updatefelt weakerto many SEOs and webmasters, as many said it didn’t have as big of an impact as previous core updates. Google also released anupdate in November, but that one was specific to local rankings. You can read more about pastGoogle updates over here.
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