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

Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
19
Jason Parks sent me this on Twitter. It's a really interesting theory. Are you guys seeing this trend where the listing in the 1st position isn't changing but positions 2-3 are?
I can't say I'm seeing that precise pattern - and even in the "Swapasaurus" article, his second example doesn't quite match that pattern either.

However, I really wonder if he's on the right track about this being the new normal, rather than a long algorithm update. Algorithms don't usually take this long to roll out - am I correct?

Some possibilities:
  • The local algorithm is now more reliant on signals that vary considerably from day to day
  • The local algorithm is running a lot more extreme tests
  • It's not an update at all, it's something going haywire in Google's infrastructure. (Though if that were the case, you'd think they'd have fixed it by now.)
I might be way off base here, but it's worth considering.
 

Fabiano

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
11
Hi. This is my first post here. I'm a new user, and it's really nice to meet you all. I'm writing from Brazil and I found you guys exactly because I was searching for an explanation about this volatility thing that's spread all over the gmb structure. The same thing is happening here in this part of the world, with many spam listings taking the first positions on the map. Just for the record, however, I saw a change today with no spams hitting the top, but of course it's still too early to say if that's already settled or not.
 

ray

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
17
Hi we have seen a massive drop yesterday from number 1 to number 40 after years of being on top and our organic ranks are still number 1 there is no clear pattern and seems that some ads that do not deserve the rank are pulling up instead dose not feel like an update looks more like a mass of spam and data making the results go crazy anyone has any true real input its almost a month to this mess.....
 

IMP

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
21
What's everyone seeing? A site of mine that was #1 in map packs for years now fell off for 3 days, bounced back, and has fallen off again past 3 days. Not sure what the issue is, the profile is completely 100% accurate, regular posts, photo uploads, accurate info, plenty of reviews, etc. Not sure how this could not be what Google wants?

What is everyone else seeing and what software is everyone using to track map location rankings? I am using SEMRush below, using the map pack filter, and my company is the green line.

1574520531951.png
I'm experiencing the same. The business was #1 for years, fell off, came back now slide back out to around P 7-9.
 

IMP

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2019
Messages
21
Jason Parks sent me this on Twitter. It's a really interesting theory. Are you guys seeing this trend where the listing in the 1st position isn't changing but positions 2-3 are?

Joy I didn't see this article but was starting to theorize this. Either the algo is still updating, or the new algo may be where there is a rotation. I have a client that was #1 then dropped out then back to #1 then has dropped out again...
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
1,219
Sorry, but I think we're all just flaunching and flailing about here, trying to guess without very much success.

The only certain way to show up on page 1 is to buy Google ads, sometimes at enormous expense.

But that's just a coincidence.

giphy.gif
 

Jason_Parks1

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
8
I don't think we're seeing that, really.
Hey Tim, I just wanted to clarify in the Swapasauarus article I wrote (view here) I never stated that the #1 position isn't changing and the #2 and #3 position are the only ones swapping out. The point I was trying to make is that there's constant swapping taking place. I am seeing much less volatility for the #1 ranked local listings than #2 and #3 though. Also, swapping, dropping, moving in and out are all the same thing. The point I'm trying to make is that it could be the new norm that more than three businesses rotate in and out of the local pack.
 

Jason_Parks1

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
8
I can't say I'm seeing that precise pattern - and even in the "Swapasaurus" article, his second example doesn't quite match that pattern either.

However, I really wonder if he's on the right track about this being the new normal, rather than a long algorithm update. Algorithms don't usually take this long to roll out - am I correct?

Some possibilities:
  • The local algorithm is now more reliant on signals that vary considerably from day to day
  • The local algorithm is running a lot more extreme tests
  • It's not an update at all, it's something going haywire in Google's infrastructure. (Though if that were the case, you'd think they'd have fixed it by now.)
I might be way off base here, but it's worth considering.
Hi Matt,

Thanks so much for checking out the article. A couple of points I want to clarify. I never stated that the #1 position isn't changing. I stated the following: "The company that’s ranking #1 in Google’s map rankings hasn’t experienced nearly as much nearly as much volatility as position 2 and 3." This seems to have been misinterpreted at some point that position 1 isn't changing or swapping out, that's not the case. But position #1 in the local pack has been much more steady than position 2 and 3 from the data I've been monitoring. My theory and the point I was trying to prove is that the constant swapping in and out of the local pack could just be the new norm. It just doesn't make sense to me how Google could be rolling out an algorithm that's lasted more than a month.
 

Jason_Parks1

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
8
Hi. This is my first post here. I'm a new user, and it's really nice to meet you all. I'm writing from Brazil and I found you guys exactly because I was searching for an explanation about this volatility thing that's spread all over the gmb structure. The same thing is happening here in this part of the world, with many spam listings taking the first positions on the map. Just for the record, however, I saw a change today with no spams hitting the top, but of course it's still too early to say if that's already settled or not.
Fabiano, That's great news that you saw a change with no spam hitting the local results. With all of the fluctuation, the discouraging part has been that spam continues to populate in the local pack. Hopefully this gets sorted out soon. If my "Swapasaurus" theory ends up being correct, it would be nice for the businesses swapping/rotating in and out of the local results to be legitimate businesses.
 

Jason_Parks1

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
8
Joy I didn't see this article but was starting to theorize this. Either the algo is still updating, or the new algo may be where there is a rotation. I have a client that was #1 then dropped out then back to #1 then has dropped out again...
You are experiencing the swapping/rotating in and out of the local results that so many of our clients are seeing. For the first three weeks I figured we were just in the midst of an algorithm update. Now that we're a month into it, I'm starting to believe this could be the new norm, hence my Swapasauarus theory. The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is that spam is still fairly prominent and there's heavy favoritism towards businesses with keywords in GMB titles, resulting in more spam... One other interesting trend I've noticed is that when there's massive fluctuation taking place with businesses swapping in and out of local pack, if you expand the map results, you'll often find duplicate GMB listings (see below from this Orlando PI search I conducted). The next time your business swaps out of the top three results, be on the lookout for this. Once the business that drops out of local pack retains its original rankings and returns, the glitch seems to disappear.

IMG_2480.jpg
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
1,219
For now, the main thing that anyone seems to be able to say is that they don't know what is happening with local pack results.

So, we have an environment in which Google is either accidentally, or intentionally, creating FUD.

When you are fearful, you look for ways to protect yourself. So, what can you do? Buy Google PPC ads?

It would be very interesting to know if there is an increase in Google's PPC ad revenue as a result of all this. Or, as another thing to be curious about, is this the precursor to the start of a pay-to-play fee setup for GMB listings.

I know, that probably sounds a bit suspicious and cynical. Oh well.

giphy.gif
 

Fabiano

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2019
Messages
11
Fabiano, That's great news that you saw a change with no spam hitting the local results. With all of the fluctuation, the discouraging part has been that spam continues to populate in the local pack. Hopefully this gets sorted out soon. If my "Swapasaurus" theory ends up being correct, it would be nice for the businesses swapping/rotating in and out of the local results to be legitimate businesses.
Unfortunatelly I saw some spam hits yesterday and today. What worries me now is how consistent one's work as a GMB manager can be to offer services to local businesses when one can not, by means of strategy or work, settle a business in the local pack just like before. If the new thing is a randomized merry-go-round philosophy, then selling the service will demand totally brand-new efforts.
 

  Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Trending: Most Viewed

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...

  Local University Guide

Google Product Exert


Top