What Happened To Your Rankings? Google! Largest Local Algorithm Update In 5 Years Now Fully Rolled Out

author image Written by: Rabije Gashi Corluka           Categories - In The News, SEO

Google’s biggest update in the last five years is creating a big commotion among the SEO community. Businesses with keyword-rich names are seeing big drops in their SERPs, making the whole situation kind of confusing. Google began with the update on November 30th and it is now fully rolled out.

“It involved a rebalancing of various factors we consider in generating local search results.” – Google said on Twitter. Judging by the tweets, Google didn’t expect the update to have such a big impact on businesses, which is why we weren’t notified before its launching.

What is going on?

The update, now called Vicinity – might have something to do with proximity and also be in tune with Google moving the local pack results higher and the map to the right. According to Mike Blumenthal, the new shape of the map (now it’s a square) could be making Google’s viewpoint different. In other words, Google might be focusing on new things now because of the shape and size of the map. Along with this change, the update also came with “inflation” in the world of keywords – it looks like the more is not the merrier anymore, judging by the fact that ranking numbers of keyword-rich businesses are plunging.

Sterlingsky.ca showed us the update’s impact in numbers. In some cases, the update fixed a few illogicalities among businesses. For example, a law company focusing on dog bites losing all one-boxes for dog bite terms seems rational since it is most likely not the only law company handling dog bites. But, a law company with a keyword-rich name losing 75% of its rankings while another one with no keywords going from 1 to 132 is a bit strange.

The takeaway? It looks like it doesn’t matter if the name of your business has a bunch of keywords, or if your website content is specific to your industry – you might still be facing a decrease in rankings.

Rabije Gashi Corluka

Rabije always enjoyed finding different angles to a story, so it’s not surprising her curiosity influenced a move to a new continent, widening her perspective. She enjoys hearing people's stories and learning about different cultures and places - but most of all, she loves putting her thoughts on a piece of paper. Her love for writing led to her studying Journalism and PR, but she actually became a storyteller during her radio-hosting era. Now, she uses her skills, experience, and love for writing to help your brand stand out.

March 2022 Product Reviews Update Now Rolled Out


Nineteen days after Google launched the third version of the product reviews update, it is now finished rolling out.

According to data providers, the update was much smaller than the one in December, but it still did manage to cause some fluctuations in rankings and impact organic traffic.

If you have products review on your website, it would be a good idea to check if your organic traffic improved, declined, or remained unchanged.

In the long run, you should definitely put more effort into your product and make it special, let it stand out on the web.

What To Do If You’re Affected

Those who were affected by this update probably felt it very strongly, but the chatter within the community was not as widespread as it was for the December update.

Google has provided advice on what you should consider if you are negatively impacted by this product reviews update.

Along with focusing on providing users with insightful and useful, expert-written content, you should also think about two things: multimedia and multiple sellers.

If you ask Google, you should provide evidence in your product review. Add visuals, audio, and links of you using the product –  show your expertise.

Also, add include links from multiple sellers. That will give readers more choice and help with your trustworthiness.

Include helpful details and specifics, show how the product is actually used and include information beyond the manufacturer’s. Explain why is that product better than the competition.

Take a look at Google’s best practices to use when writing a high-quality product review

In its third update to the products reviews, Google also added three new tips:

  • Product reviews apply to all forms of review content, but because ranked lists tend to be shorter, you may want to demonstrate expertise and emphasize authenticity more concisely. Including original images from tests you’ve done with the product and citing pertinent results are good ways to demonstrate this.
  • If you recommend a particular product as the best overall or the best for a particular purpose, be sure to explain to the reader why you feel that is the case.
  •  The combination of a ranked list of related products and in-depth reviews of each product can be very effective. If you were to write both, make sure the ranked list has enough useful content to stand on its own.

This update’s goal is to promote review content that is much more than basic, dry, templated information you find on the web.

According to Google, these types of product reviews will be promoted in search results. So, why not benefit from the situation and do your best to get a fresh organic search result rank?

For now, Google is not punishing those who have a simplified summary of products. But, if there is better-written content out there, it will beat you and get the rank – so, you’re not punished, but they are rewarded.

So, go, check, rewrite and get that ranking!

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Desktop Getting A Page Experience Update


Back in November, Google confirmed it will be launching a new page experience update for desktop. The rollout is supposed to happen in February this year and is expected to last for about a month. That means we are hoping for a full rollout by the end of March.

The Google Desktop Page Experience Update will use the same factors as the mobile version – except, of course, the mobile-friendliness one. This update will not be applicable for desktop only, but tablets and laptops, too. It will include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
  • First Input Delay
  • HTTPS Security
  • Absence of intrusive interstitials

In case you forgot, safe browsing is no longer considered a part of the experience and is not a ranking signal anymore.

What Is Page Experience?

Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users are liking your website. It measures the loading time, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. It also includes existing search signals like the ones we mentioned above. However, page experience is not the only thing important for your rankings – content counts too.

Google Search Console

Google said they will update the Search Console to support desktop, too. That should launch before desktop becomes a ranking signal. Google search console helps you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking and make decisions about the appearance of your site’s results.


This update shouldn’t have much of an impact on your rankings, because it is designed to highlight pages that offer a great user experience. Page experience is just one of many factors Google takes into account when it comes to your ranking.  Still, it is important to stay in the loop, keep track of changes and monitor your metrics.


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