Trending [November 5, 2019 Local Algorithm Update] Unexplained big drops in GMB rankings

BenFisher

Local Search Expert
Joined
Nov 19, 2015
Messages
312
From what I am seeing so far, there are gains and losses. But no pattern, mostly gains.

This is a long view of a 9 location lawyer (all storefronts)




This is a long view of a 3 location SAB.



And here is a short view: (a few weeks)

9 location lawyer - Few weeks view


3 location SAB - Few weeks view
 
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
9
Hmm. I wonder if it's further tightening of the proximity factor. Has anyone compared Local Falcon reports before/after?
I just tried comparing data we had on a client from Oct. 17 to new data pulled just now. Previously the average distance between the search location and the results in the local pack was 9.98 mi, now it's 4.87.

You'd have to do something a lot more rigorous than some quick Excel work to get a full picture, but it does seem that a number of results that were ranking from farther away no longer are. Previously competitors were ranking around this client from 60 miles away, now no one's ranking from farther than 17 miles.

I'll take a closer look at the data tomorrow and see if other clients are seeing something similar!
 

raj.vasa

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
4
I am also seeing a major shift (downward) for a client in the real estate industry. They have entered page 2 or even 3 for local search keywords they were ranking in the top 3 pack for. To note: I did not have SAB enabled for this client. Also, when using geo modified keyword (city + keyword) from my own location about 25 miles away, I am not seeing any correlation based on business locations and distance of searchers (meaning Google is not deciding to show me businesses that are closer to me but in the location, I am searching for). A number of businesses now ranking higher have keyword-stuffed business names or little to no reviews. I am perplexed by this update. Instead of making results more relevant, I find they are now a lot less relevant. Normal SERP's are not seeing any changes on my end.
 

therkf

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
5
I just tried comparing data we had on a client from Oct. 17 to new data pulled just now. Previously the average distance between the search location and the results in the local pack was 9.98 mi, now it's 4.87.

... Previously competitors were ranking around this client from 60 miles away, now no one's ranking from farther than 17 miles.

I'll take a closer look at the data tomorrow and see if other clients are seeing something similar!
Interesting! I missed the initial big shift this week (buried in a project), but had a business owner in CA referred to us today because of a devasting drop. She's a storefront with service area (delivery) and claims to have lost 75% of her sales after being punted from the Local Pack. In this case, the businesses listed are technically in another city and she's at the center. It was a quick conversation at the end of the day, but a quick look shows she has more reviews and citations, GMB appears to be in order.

It's surprising to see her pushed out by not-quite-local competitors. Need more digging.
 

WillSLV

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
8
Hello,

This has happened to one of the sites we manage as well. Over night drop from maps page 1 to page 5. Gmb accounts are ranking above it now with no reviews, no posts, photos, links, no acitiivty at all.

Is there anyway to rectify this?
 

Dan Foland

SEO Director at Postali
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
106
All of my clients are seeing an impact. Fortunately, most of them are seeing nice gains, some are seeing an equal amount of positive and negative gains and some are seeing a loss in rankings. P.s. all of my clients are law firms/lawyers.

 

BWrightTLM

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Messages
41
We're seeing 3 completely different SABs in the moving industry in different parts of the US that had #1 Google Maps ranking for 2+ years for a handful of popular keywords all get knocked from the top 3 in the last week. Many of our clients in this industry saw no change though.

We made 0 recent GMB changes to the 3 that saw declines and have been checking citations and GMB profiles. I haven't seen anything that stands out yet. I will say, they all 3 had less than 10 Service Areas selected.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,091
I dove into more accounts this morning. Will be doing a lot more next week. I'm seeing changes everywhere for every client and it's probably the biggest change to the local results I've seen in years.

Whatever is going on, I don't think it's over yet. I am seeing huge SERP changes between yesterday and today. I think we should sit tight until it calms down.
 

IMP

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
18
Interesting! I missed the initial big shift this week (buried in a project), but had a business owner in CA referred to us today because of a devasting drop. She's a storefront with service area (delivery) and claims to have lost 75% of her sales after being punted from the Local Pack. In this case, the businesses listed are technically in another city and she's at the center. It was a quick conversation at the end of the day, but a quick look shows she has more reviews and citations, GMB appears to be in order.

It's surprising to see her pushed out by not-quite-local competitors. Need more digging.
We are seeing the same as well.
 

keyserholiday

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
165
I am seeing differences in what ranked in the map pack last week, to what was ranking on Wednesday and now today in a few markets. The shakeup is still in effect.
 

dscweb

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
2
In one vertical, I'm seeing Houston businesses and other businesses outside the Dallas area listed in the Dallas map pack listings. More spam than usual in map pack as others have mentioned too. Mainly with SAB.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,091
You've scared me 😭

How do we stay ahead of this?
I never suggest making sudden, rash changes as a result of an algorithm update. I think it's important to learn what we can and adapt ongoing strategies if needed. Often I don't find much about our strategies ever change as the result of Google updating their algorithm.
 

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