Strategy to offset the new Google Update that works Positively

Rob Urban
Has anyone come up with a working strategy to offset the new Google vicinity update – that works? I thought I'd ask rather than just idly sit here watching it destroy the business I've worked so hard building the past 3 years.
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How has it impacted you?

Rob Urban ✍️ » John
We help so many folks out so it's pretty sad to watch it get destroyed like this. The new algorithm refuses to show our business outside the IMMEDIATE area of our office in Google maps. We used to show up across the whole city but not any more and each week it's getting worse. We're the most popular, and 70% cheaper, than any competitors in our markets but it does no good if we cant be found.
John » Rob Urban
What kind of distances are we talking? Do you target the other locations on your website?
Lee » Rob Urban
Same issue. We have one green dot. We don't cheat, we don't have multiple fake accounts like some of our competitors and we lost. Fake spam account located in the middle of the street with key word business name is #1 in most parts of the city. This update was supposed to fix this but it seemed to benefit a couple really obvious spam GMBs.
John » Lee
I'm sorry to hear this. What kind of distances are you seeing the differences on. Also could be one of those updates that's hits hard then settles
Lee » John
That's what I'm hopeful for. One thing we noticed is GMBs in city center make up the 3 pack. All are fake pins or virtual offices. Our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) said let's wait till make any location changes but jeez Google your getting played.

The algorithm makes 100% sense…
If there's a closer company, with similar reviews and a great reputation, why would it show another business miles away?
Similarly, if you're the only competitor in the area it will pull yours, because there isn't an adequate company close enough to show.
You're not the only/best service provider 9/10x and people rather use companies closer to them.

Rob Urban ✍️ » Mew
Actually we are the best. We're 70% cheaper and open 365 days and people drive hours even from out of state…IF they can find us on Google. Google algos don't care about that
Mew » Rob Urban
That doesn't make you the best for everyone. It makes you the best in your eyes.
Google knows the #1 thing people care about is proximity. They have millions and millions of searches to back this up, and results from searches.
You have your opinion.
Rob Urban ✍️ » Mew
That's right. Our ONLY strategy to pursue after this update is to add many more locations throughout a city rather than just 1 or 2. they'll all be much smaller. Fortunately it costs us the same to have 1 location or 10 so that's our focus going forward.
Mew » Rob Urban
Been having my clients do this the past two years my friend.
Get location pages on your website, get an office at the location and keep building.
Makes complete and 1000% sense
Jack » Mew
I have to disagree.
It makes sense when in a city, looking for a corner shop. Proximity in that search, on mobile, when on foot could be key to the searcher, fair enough.
In my trade, the best companies are maybe 10 miles apart. The best companies aren't showing now and the searcher is missing out. Instead the three pack is being made up by unclaimed listings and irrelevant searches in positions 2 and 3.
It's hurting us but it's hurting the consumer for sure.
Mew » Jack
Define best company objectively, and how it's relative to what Google has defined based on millions of searches with actions tied to them.
I'll wait and would love to hear …
Also keep in mind Google was almost sued for billions for allowing the same companies to always be in the 3-Pack under monopolization laws.
I see what you are getting at Schieler but honestly, as per my original post the consumer is losing in this instance.
As a service business, we travel to the searcher, they don't need to come to us. I'm sure a rollback from Google will take this into account further.
The leading companies in our region are accredited and operate legally for starters. They have been in business for a longer period of time. They have claimed their profile and care about their online presence.
At current we're getting junk listings in the 3 pack. If there isn't a rollback then for our key words the searcher will lose trust in local search. I wouldn't have thought Google wants that, not completely anyway.
Rob Urban ✍️ » Jack
I think I agree with Schieler. Google knows users want proximity, as the general rule. Maybe they'll update certain categories later so they're not so hyper proximate but I'm not holding my breath. Seems a one size fits all is what they're pushing forward. Actually, this proximity (vicinity) update while initially seemed very threatening to us is threatening ALL of our competitors andI have the data showing it. The benefit is we are the only company in our category, nationwide, who can add locations at zero cost. This is an absolutle Godsend to my business. I'm suffering but it's going to end soon. I had to come to my senses which is why I like this group so much, pointing out any flawed thinking or preconceptions inhibiting my progress.
Mew » Rob Urban
Hoping it updates on a per categorical niche as well, but Google has over 4,300 now and having a different algorithm for some and not others is not computationally possible. The amount of servers it would take and the scale would be absolutely insane.
Mew » Jack
They also don't want to be sued by Congress. They are dealing with a lot this year.
And honestly, this move, means ad cost will go up on Google Ads and make their board members and investors happy.
Google knows what they're doing. That's why they hold 90% of search share
Jack » Rob Urban
Ref. adding locations – is this your method in combating this to add locations every 4-5 miles across the country for local search? I'd have thought this would get reported or picked up by Google?
As a service business a second location could be an advantage, but it's going to be empty of reviews? I would be concerned as to what Google would make of it…


You all think Google is supposed to show preference to SEO users. It's evening the odds here. I applaud this change. Now those businesses that can't afford their competitor's $30k monthly Search Engine Optimization (SEO) budget have a fighting chance.
For now make sure your website is better optimized for long tail and auxiliary related queries until we get more data. You can still be more relevant.
I'm watching one now whose visibility improved over a larger area (averaging position 6.4 in a 3 mile square). He came out of nowhere. I suspect it's because he's outside the city center. The big firms are downtown and lost visibility in his area.
I've always recommended service area businesses get addresses in residential areas or where the predominance of their market hangs out. Either that or get far away from big competitors. That's always been true, but seems to be the best thing to do now.

I've always recommended service area businesses get addresses in residential areas or where the predominance of their market hangs out. Either that or get far away from big competitors. That's always been true, but seems to be the best thing to do now.
Rob Urban ✍️ » Kathy
Good advice. We get nearly zero business from organic even being ranked #1. Local (maps) is and has always been the key driver for us
Kathy » Rob Urban
Agree. I don't think you should ignore it though. Organic helps local. What industry are you in? Or are you an SEO?
I take that back. I just looked at your profile. I can give you a guest blog in a very relevant site!
Rob Urban ✍️ » Kathy
Medical equipment rentals.
Really? I'll take you up on that. What's the site? Thanks!
Alex » Kathy
The 30k monthly budget just changes, competing is an illusion. Just wait the big guys will break it again they always do.
Kathy » Alex
Yep. They do.

Local SEO is now dead 💀 citations bla bla bla will do nothing for this update you can chuck the kitchen sink at it. Like when you search for a petrol station its shows you the nearest to your location regardless of what seonthey put in and the past few weeks this trend is happening across many niches. WHY Google want organic leads to die to force our hand in to paying ppc to show up for those high searched volume keywords across the whole city radius regardless of your location. The past 8 hours there has been a slight roll back and reverted back to how it was last month bit fornhpw long I have know idea.

Rob Urban ✍️ » Sampson
Agree 100%. This whole update is to drive paid ads. Period. Google Ads have NEVER worked for us. $100k spent on it was totally wasted. Never again
Mew » Rob Urban
Consumer research and data over MILLIONS of clicks has showed Google people want the closest companies to them, period.
It's a consumer based move and it makes sense!

You search for a petrol station it shows you the nearest to your location seems Google wants this accross all niches

Rob Urban ✍️ » Sampson
Mew » Sampson
Consumer research and data over MILLIONS of clicks has showed Google people want the closest companies to them, period.
It's a consumer based move and it makes sense!
Rob Urban ✍️ » Mew
The data doesnt lie. Where'd you read this data though?
Mew » Rob Urban
Google's research papers. There's hundreds that point to this research and finding.
It's also really just common psychology of a user.
Restaurant? Closest one that matches my needs!
Gas station? I need gas near me not miles away!
Dentist? I'd like one close to my work or home to reduce driving across the city!
Plumber? If one's too far away they will probably be late!

Guys, this makes lots of sense. Algorithm updates happen for 1 reason only. If you can't guess what it is, it's advertising revenue maximization. They want everyone clicking those expensive display ads at the top of the screen and not giving any thought to anything below them. In terms of those virtual companies you are seeing, well it's all part of the plan. They want lots of entities with a strong position in a very narrow section of the city. Why? Because they want you to understand that display advertising is the only way to stay in business.
Prove local relevance. don't overthink it. If the GMB and the website don't line up (which most don't). That is where you must start. Back to the basics. Trust, local relevance, and CLEAR COMMUNICATION via proper structure rank a website and Google My Business (GMB)/Google Business Profile (GBP). All my clients and assets I own have seen little to no affect from any update in the last 4 years. This stuff ain't hard people.



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