Google’s search results have gotten more useful, relevant and the most important of them all – local. A tweak in the search algorithm ranks local web directories higher than before. A particular beneficiary of this update is web directory Yelp.
The changes are apparently the result of a complaint by Yelp in which the directory alleged Google preferred its own websites – Google Plus – over more Yelp even when users were using “yelp” in the keyword.
A study sponsored by Yelp found that Google was siphoning off nearly 20 percent of its organic traffic. Google has not commented on the issue. Instead it has responded with a silent update.
The new update links local search capability to Knowledge Graph, synonyms, and spelling corrections. It is expected to provide more useful and relevant results to users looking for local results.
Currently the update is available to users searching in English (US). Google is mute on whether it will be rolled out in other languages.
While Yelp and other local directories are joyous over the change, local businesses may witness fluctuations in traffic.
Google is silent on what percentage of search queries has been affected. So it will be harder to quantify how many businesses will be affected.
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