I found it interesting that the local tracking tool, BrightLocal’s Local RankFlux, showed big ranking fluctuations in the local results at around the same time we saw the ranking spikes for the Google July core update. Just to be clear, Google has said local results are not really impacted by these core updates – more on that below.
If you look at the BrightLocal tool, you will see it showed a spike in ranking fluctuations in local starting on July 2nd and into July 3rd and then again starting on July 9th and into July 10th. This is similar to what we saw with the July 2021 core update spikes, on July 2nd and July 9th.
Here is the chart, notice on July 2nd it spiked to a 3.04 and on July 3rd to 4.11 and then it calmed back down to the 2s, which is normal. Then on July 9th it spiked again to 2.86 and then on July 10th to 3.26.
There was even some chatter in the Local Search Forums about ranking changes. Here is some of that chatter:
I have a few listings which have had a hit… I’m trying to understand if this is the update or something else.
I just looked at one that had quite a bit of movement on June 8th. Organically, they had massive increases but locally they dropped out of the 3-pack for quite a few terms. The main pattern I saw was that the business name having keywords didn’t matter as much as before and that businesses with tons of reviews were appearing instead.
Joy even wrote up this case study that digs into how the July core update may have impacted the local results. She said “I’ve been spending a lot of time digging into this one client of ours and they are benefiting a ton from the last 2 updates so I thought I would share what I’ve been noticing.”
I did ask Danny Sullivan of Google if the local pack results can be impacted by core updates and he said not really. So I am not sure why these local fluctuations are so aligned with the core update fluctuations.
It doesn’t really
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) July 12, 2021
Forum discussion at Local Search Forums.