What You Need To Know About The Bug That Caused Local Ranking Fluctuations
With regards to the local ranking volatility observed from late April through to early this May, Google’s Danny Sullivan tweeted an updated message to SEO professionals and site owners. He said that this was a bug that had already been fixed two weeks ago, and Google’s fix "seems to have stabilized things since”.
At first, Google stated that they hadn’t made any changes, but asked users for some samples so they could look into what was going on. It turns out that as they indicated, there was actually no local search ranking update. However, the local ranking fluctuations in Google Search and Google Maps that users had seen was caused by some kind of bug.
Sullivan tweeted: "Just wanted to update. Thanks for the examples. They helped us find a bug that we got resolved about two weeks ago, and that seems to have stabilized things since".
Here are the tweets:
It does certainly look like there have been no real changes to local ranking in Google Search and Google Map over the last week or so.
It’s still unclear what the bug was all about, but this was a good it was an example of the SEO community helping Google fix a problem with search. The company does investigate problems, they even make mistakes, but they also prove willing to fix the bugs when they’re spotted.
Update. It’s true that Sullivan answered the questions raised about a possible local search update, but another Twitter discussion seems to indicate that the fixed bug was particularly connected to car dealerships and perhaps certain other industries too, rather than a more widespread issue with all local ranking results.
Here are the tweets:
Sullivan replied to this tweet stating there might be confusion and that the fixed bug was connected to car dealership issues, and not the local ranking volatility.
This Is How Page Experience Becomes A Google Search Ranking Factor
From Thursday, Google announced that they’d begin to consider a page’s user-friendliness or “page experience” as a ranking factor. Both will be taken into account in determining the results that show in Google Search and the “Top Stories” mobile search feature, alongside other factors like interactivity and load time.
This step was part of Google’s long list of actions they have carried out to urge web publishers to provide a better user experience. For instance, they have previously banned traffic to those websites that cause irritation with pop-up ads.
Additionally, Google will be eliminating the requirement that web publishers should utilise the AMP infrastructure for them to be featured in Google search top stories.
- Before, Google required publishers to utilise its Accelerated Mobile Pages. However, the “Top Stories” search feature will now be available for any web page, using AMP or not.
- Google assures that those who have published pages with an AMP version or as AMP will experience no changes, and that their AMP version will be linked to “Top Stories”
What’s next. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Google has confirmed that these updates will not be implemented all in a rush, but slowly over time, and that web publishers do not have to perform any immediate action.
Details on this post were sourced from https://www.seroundtable.com/google-local-ranking-volatility-bug-29532.html and https://www.axios.com/google-search-page-experience-67d8610d-66ed-41b1-866b-5cec79e0e0ff.html. Click these links to learn more.
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