March Core Quality Update - March 12, 2019


JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,662
I just did an analysis for a private investigator client of ours. Medic tanked some of his organic rankings and I remember thinking the results post-Medic looked stupid. Here is some very specific things that I observed for the term "private investigator" when searched from his zip code.

  • The site that ranked first organically on March 10th was an article about how to become a private investigator, this tanked to 12th
  • The second organic result on March 10th was another article about how to become a private investigator fell to #5.
  • The third organic result on March 10th was Wikipedia's generic entry for "private investigator" and this fell to #9.
  • The new top organic ranking is my client (a private investigator in that city)
  • The new second organic ranking is Thumbtack which is a list of private investigators in that city.
  • The new third organic ranking is an article in a magazine listing the "best private investigators" in that city (it was previously 6th)
I want to note that my client was 8th pre-medic for this term and dropped off the face of the earth for this term but he was never #1. So this update isn't likely a complete reversal. I think Google just got a better idea of what sites were quality (like Marie said) and in this SERP's case, the intent of the searcher changed. Google is now showing results that would indicate the searcher is looking to hire a private investigator, not become one himself.
Interesting industry. I guess this falls under the "Your Life" portion of YMYL. I would say it is unrelated period but if you got hit on the YMYL update, it has to be related I would think.
 

Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
5
What are reviews like? one thing I noticed for client who saw a huge boost, he 1) has 26 or so positive reviews, and 2) we added the reviews including markup language to the city landing page. We didn't do the same for his other location, not much increase/decrease, but for his money location we saw a huge increase:

View attachment 3950
I disagree. My site has 105 reviews, nearly 60 more than the closest competitor and I have a strong 4.9 rating. I had been in the pack 3 for more than a year and was suddenly booted out by sites with much weaker content and sites with only virtual addresses.
 

Pete

Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
5
I had an idea. What if you are only allowed to have a certain percentage of reviewers from outside the local territory. Every once in a while, we get a few companies call us from areas where we don't have a physical office. Sometimes, they found us through a referral and sometimes, it's just by some odd chance. However, they are still really happy with the work and end up giving us a great review.

What if Google is monitoring the location of reviewers and if you get what they deem is an unnatural numbers from outside the market area, they begin to penalize. If this is what happened to us, I'll be outraged, but I could see them doing this. Our reviews have not been manipulated.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,662
I had an idea. What if you are only allowed to have a certain percentage of reviewers from outside the local territory. Every once in a while, we get a few companies call us from areas where we don't have a physical office. Sometimes, they found us through a referral and sometimes, it's just by some odd chance. However, they are still really happy with the work and end up giving us a great review.

What if Google is monitoring the location of reviewers and if you get what they deem is an unnatural numbers from outside the market area, they begin to penalize. If this is what happened to us, I'll be outraged, but I could see them doing this. Our reviews have not been manipulated.
I agree. I don't see them doing this. It would get too sticky. Especially with them not being able to always pinpoint a user's exact location.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,497
We only really saw local rankings have a large change for one client. It was such an isolated case that it was almost impossible to draw conclusions from.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,662
I believe I have a client that had those issues as well. But I wouldn't be able to isolate the change to that day. Only to that month period.
 

Similar threads


Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top