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Google Finishes Rolling Out Local Search Update

author image Written by: Rob May           Categories - In The News

Local Search Update Helps Google Relate Search Terms to Concepts

In the digital age, there’s always a first time for everything. In an unprecedented move, Google officially confirmed an update to its local search algorithm this week which began rolling out globally in early November. So, what exactly is this update and what does it mean? For starters, the update, which is appropriately called the November 2019 Local Search Update, makes use of neural matching when generating local search results. Simply put, neural matching allows Google to better understand how words are related to concepts and understand the meaning behind users’ search queries and provide the most relevant local businesses in results – even if the keywords in the query are not actually included in a business’ name and description. https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1201549327144898567 “The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents,” said Google Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, on Twitter. One of the most significant impacts of this update – which is being launched globally across all countries and languages – is that now, certain business listings will appear in search results that they wouldn’t have previously shown up in.

What Is Neural Matching?

Described by Google as a “super-synonym system,” neural matching is an AI-based system that Google began using in 2018. Its primary function is to help Google understand how words are related to concepts. So, for example, if someone were to search for “Why does my TV look strange?,” neural matching helps Google comprehend that this search query is related to the concept of “the soap opera effect,” and provide search results about the soap opera effect, even though these words weren’t actually used in the search query.

How Will This Affect Businesses?

Google wasn’t clear about how drastically local search results will be affected by this recent update, but indicated on Twitter that the use of neural matching in local search will not require any changes from businesses. Those looking to optimize for local search should continue to follow Google’s tried and true advice, which is to:

  • Use Google My Business
  • Update your business information regularly
  • Enter complete and accurate information about your business
  • Verify your business location
  • Provide accurate, up to date hours of operation
  • Manage and respond to reviews
  • Add photos

Another important thing to note about this update is that although it has already finished rolling out, Google has noted that local search results as they are currently being displayed are not set in stone and just like all searches, can change over time.

Rob May

Google’s Spam Update Has Rolled Out

10/25/2022

Last week, Google announced the October 2022 Spam Update would be rolling out. The update began on October 19th but it took less than 48 hours to complete, Search Engine Land reports. Users didn’t expect such a quick turnaround from a spam update but here we are.

What Is The Update & How Does It Work?

Google’s October 2022 Spam Update is a new search ranking algorithm. This means its impacts will be visible in search results, however you might be impacted too. This spam update was global and affects all languages, Search Engine Land reports.

Google expected the spam update to take up to a week to rollout but it was quicker than most expected. Users can see on Google’s Search Ranking Updates page where the updated was added and listed as complete on October 21st. Google’s spam update is meant to attack harmful stolen content or malicious websites.

Read More: Google Launches October 2022 Spam Update

Here is what Google says about the October 2022 Spam Update:

“While Google’s automated systems to detect search spam are constantly operating, we occasionally make notable improvements to how they work. When we do, we refer to this as a spam update and share when they happen on our list of Google Search ranking updates. For example, SpamBrain is our AI-based spam-prevention system. From time-to-time, we improve that system to make it better at spotting spam and to help ensure it catches new types of spam.”

Previous Spam Updates

As Google mentions their AI-based spam prevention system, you might be wondering how many spam updates there have been before. And more importantly, what to do if you’re sit has been hit.

When you have a look at Google’s Search Ranking Updates page, users can see that 2021 was a big year for spam updates. The last one rolled out in November 2021 and before that there was a two part update in July.

Read More: Google Offers Insights Into How It Deals With Spam

What Do Users Think About The Update?

Now, you might be wondering what people are saying about the October 2022 Spam update and if many users have been impacted. Here’s what SEO expert Glenn Gabe says about the update and what impacts he sees.

Search Engine Land reports on what users can expect from this update’s impacts.

“Spam updates target specific guideline violations. Google did not say if this was links, content or other forms of spam, but rather just said it is spam-related in general,” says Barry Schwartz. With such a wide gap between spam updates, users could be waiting another year before Google runs one again.

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Smart Campaigns Will Be Gone For Good Soon

07/22/2022

Google began rolling out automatic updates to convert Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max – Search Engine Land reports.

For most users, the updates will finish rolling out in two months. They will receive a notification around 2 or 3 weeks before the updates take effect. They will also be notified of the specific date when the campaigns will be converted. However, some Smart Shopping campaigns, like the ones using vehicle ads, will be completed early next year.

Read More: Google Updated Performance Max Campaigns

Don’t Wait For Google

You don’t have to wait for Google to do this for you. Actually, you shouldn’t – take this into your own hands and have more control over the settings of your campaigns.

If you want to update campaigns on your own, because you’re smart, strong, and pretty – you can do that by using the ‘one click’ upgrade tool.

Whether your campaigns are automatically- or self-upgraded with the tool, all the history and learnings from your previous Smart Shopping Campaigns, along with its settings are automatically transferred over to your new Performance Max campaigns.

Read More: Google Performance Max Getting 7 New Updates

New Ad Creation Tools

Google also launched three new ad creation tools which could help drive better results, especially on YouTube:

  • Asset Storage
  • Video Ad Templates
  • Voice-over Audio

These new tools should help advertising teams out there create and collaborate on campaigns without leaving the ads platform.

Read More: Discovery Ad Users Get Four New Features

Read More: Data-driven Attribution Becomes The Default?

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