How Google’s August Algorithm Update Impacted Local Business

On August 1st 2018, Google released a broad core algorithm update that seems to have had an impact on the local and organic rankings. Web Design Warrington understands one of the functions of the update has been to demote advice pages that have questionable expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness [EAT] when it comes to ranking. The EAT plays a significant role in Google Search Quality Guidelines.

A Sterling Sky Company spent some few weeks analyzing how the update impacted local business and web designers like Web Design Warrington. They analyzed dozens of sites in depth, dived into ranking charts and before-and-after screenshots to see what changed with this new update.

Below are the six things that they noticed as a result of the update.

This update was not related to links

Web Design Warrington understands the update was merely related to on-site content quality more than backlinks. There was a new client of two months who saw an increase organically across almost every keyword that was being tracked. All the work that has been done on the client’s website has been related to improving content quality; no links were built.

Keyword impact

In the local search world, it is hard to find a business that ranks in the 3-pack in a surrounding city, but it is sometimes possible.

Let’s say that there is a company in Addison or Texas, but all their customers come from Dallas, with this update, the majority of keywords that they were tracking that used [keyword + Dallas] increased. Even though the location is in Addison[ the suburb of Dallas] Another example can be of a business that decreased both locally and organically for the name of the major city but sustained rankings for the suburb [its exact location].

Organic and local results changed

Sterling Sky Company has ranking trackers that scan its accounts daily, so it makes algorithm updates easier to track. The majority of algorithm updates only affect the organic results or the local results, but this new update impacted both. There is also a gap between the two updates. The local update happened on July 31-August 1, while the organic update happened between August 1 and 2.

The gap between organic and local is increasing

According to Web Design Warrington, there is usually a strong correlation between sites that rank in the local results. But with this update, there isn’t much correlation at all. The sites that had substantial organic increases did not equally have a significant increase in local rankings and vice versa.

Also, there were more examples where the patterns were completely opposite. The sites that increased organically dropped locally and vice versa.

YMYL impacted heavily

Web Design Warrington noticed this update was focused on Your Money or Your Life [YMYL]-type sites. The biggest movement being in industries related to healthcare. The company audited the attorney’s site and found that the big drops were related to pages about specific medical malpractice lawsuits. Another drug rehab lost 2/3 of their traffic overnight.

Video carousels increased for local search items

For tons of keywords that the company looked at across various industries, there was an increase in video carousels that did not exist before the August core algorithm update.

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