Feb 9 Google Algorithm Update

Nikos

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Hello guys,

I wanted to share with you some thoughts on this very new update.

This update looks massive. It reminds me of the Medic update which temporary smashed health-related websites.

My early findings are that this update did not affect local maps rankings but local search rankings are heavily affected.

For some niches, I see the local factor totally removed. It feels like local businesses now compete with a broader spectrum of global websites.

To give an example, assume a local insurance agency. Previously it would compete with other agencies for general keywords like "health insurance" for searches performed within the city. Now similar queries return global search results and local agency websites are removed.

Hopefully, the update is adjusted as it happened before.

Regards,
Nikos.
 

djbaxter

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Nikos

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Yes, I've read this before publishing, but no findings are reported yet.

I'm offering my findings and looking forward to hearing from other SEOs about the algorithm.

Initial data show major reshuffling of local search results, especially for keywords that do not include location.
 

Conor Treacy

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To give an example, assume a local insurance agency. Previously it would compete with other agencies for general keywords like "health insurance" for searches performed within the city. Now similar queries return global search results and local agency websites are removed.
This was interesting doing a search for "health insurance". For me, all the big guys show at the top and the local map pack has been moved down to Position 7. I get the "People Also Ask" after the #1 spot, "Top Stories" after #3.

No map pack position change for "home insurance", but "life insurance" map has been moved down the page too. "real estate investing" has been moved down the page but "real estate company" or "real estate agent" remains at the top of the page with the Map Pack. "iphone purchase" the map is also further down the page than I remember, and it's national companies taking the top spots (or Apple the case of the iPhone)

The movement of the map may not be new, but I don't remember seeing them down toward the bottom of the page.
 

Nikos

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I expect a correction from Google. It is unfair for some websites and also bad user experience. Users now have to add the location to be sure that local/national results are returned.

I confirm the inclusion of directories and re-ordering of search results features.

Some comments from the SEroundtable article.

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djbaxter

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Sunday night I reported about a big, and still unconfirmed, Google search ranking algorithm update. Well, we are now going on day five (maybe six) and the chatter and rank checking tools are still at insane levels. This is not typical of Google updates, even core updates, to be at this level for this long.

And no - Google has said nothing, absolutely nothing, about this update. At least not yet and I did, as did many people in the SEO community, ask Google about this update. We have zero information back from Google on this. Not even, sorry, cannot comment about this.
See article for screenshots and several interesting Twitter comments.
 

djbaxter

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Google has an interesting dilemma with insurance search results. Most people used to work with a local agent. Now more and more people are going directly to national agencies. It's hard to say which is more relevant today.
 
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