Weekly SEO news: 10 December 2019
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter!

Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please forward this newsletter to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Google finally confirms the November 2019 local search update

Google has confirmed the November 2019 local search update on Twitter. What has changed, and what do you have to do to keep your local rankings?

local SEO

What exactly has changed?

Google now uses neural matching to go beyond the exact words in business name or description. This helps Google to understand conceptually how these might be related to the words searchers use and their intents.

In other words, your business listing might be shown for search terms that do not appear in your business name or description.

The update has fully rolled out, rankings can change

Google confirmed that this was a global launch covering countries and languages worldwide. The update has fully rolled out:

Just like regular search results, the new local search results can change over time.

What do you have to do now?

Google says that you don't have to change anything:

There are some things that you can do. For example, you should have a complete Google My Business profile, you should upload photos and videos, you should verify your locations, keep your hours accurate, and you should respond to reviews.

How does Google rank local results?

Google ranks local results based on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for a search.

For example, Google algorithms might decide that a business that's farther away from your location is more likely to have what you're looking for than a business that's closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.

Is your website listed in Google's local search results?

Use the local SEO tools in SEOprofiler to ensure that your web pages can be found in the right locations. For example, you get ranking checks on city-level, and you can track the positions of businesses that do not have a website:

Local SEO

2. Internet marketing news of the week

StatisticsOpen sourcing 2017 local SEO ranking factors data
"I decided I’m going to open source the data we used for the 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors. [...] It’s ~150k rows of data (each row representing a different business listing on Google My Business). [...] I have the forthcoming analysis for the 2019 Local SEO Ranking Factors, which will be going live later this week."

Google search quality guidelines update emphasizes users of diverse backgrounds

"Evaluators are reminded not to base ratings on personal viewpoints. [...] Evaluators are also told that their ratings 'should not be based on personal opinions, preferences, religious beliefs, or political views.'".

John MuellerGoogle: not having a manual action does not mean that your website is good

"It might seem obvious: you do not have a good website just because it doesn’t have a manual penalty. Google’s John Mueller confirmed this on Twitter. A webmaster thought that the link profile of his website was good because Google did not penalize his site."

Results of removing my Google My Business listings

"I chose to remove my Google My Business listing because of my belief that it was hurting my search engine traffic and rankings. Not only did I prove it to myself that that’s the case once, I have now proven it TWICE. I’ve had the GMB listing removed twice, and in both cases it has helped my search engine traffic (and the direct traffic to the site, as well)."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google: you can use the same image on multiple web pages.
  • Google: being the same as others won’t help you to get high rankings.
  • Google: Bert does not affect indexing.
  • Google: Legal interstitials are fine as long as we can index the content without having to do anything special.
  • When is a star not always a star? When it’s an online review.
  • Local rankings: Changed to SAB (Service Area Business) and traffic dropped big time.
  • Google image search drops custom date range filter.
  • Google: get your own domain name for a long-term web presence.
  • Genius sues Google over allegedly stolen song lyrics.
  • Google tests package tracking in search results.

3. Previous articles

Do you need better rankings for your website?

SEOprofiler is a web-based search marketing tool that helps you to get better Google rankings. You can create a free SEOprofiler account here. The step-by-step manual will help you to get started as quickly as possible.