Google has reportedly launched a significant algorithm update that's shaken up local search results in the United States quite a bit.
Following a tip from Brian May on Twitter, local search watcher Mike Blumenthal reported on the "turmoil" in local search results.
— Brian Mayo (@brianmayo) July 25, 2014
They were noticing missing 7 packs in real estate results.
Search Engine Land also reported that Google confirmed an update, saying that it "ties deper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search, along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms, and more".
According them, the company also said it improves distance and location ranking parameters. They're calling it the "Piegon" update just to give it a name, as Google has apparently not given it one.
While those who lose rankings as a result of this will no doubt be irate, this is probably a good thing for users, as the rankings of local search results have always been questionable. If they can tap into all these other signals, it stands to reason that relevance should improve at least to some extent.
This update comes as Google sees increased competition in the local search space from companies like Foursquare and Yelp. Google also recently made an update to its Google Maps mobile apps to make it easier for users to find places of interest. It has also added new ads to local search results.
Image via Google