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The following is a transcription of the Tailwind Flash Briefing published December 2nd, 2019. To listen activate through the Amazon Alexa Skill store.

Or listen directly here:

Tailwind Digital Minute Flash Briefing for December 2nd, 2019

Good morning listeners, today is December 3rd and you’re currently listening to a special edition of the flash briefing that we’re putting out a little later following the holiday. I’m David Ericson, Tailwind’s Search Specialist, and I am actually on my own today to give you these stories.  To keep this episode quick and get it out following the long weekend, this episode we’ll cover too Google related stories about their local search rankings. Without further ado, here is the first story of the week:

Google Maps Dominating Local Search

Brandify revealed their latest consumer survey results before the holiday and, from said findings, it seems that 77% of surveyed individuals use Google Maps to find their “near me” business information.

In their summary blog, they called out a considerable number of key findings, that first one included, that point to a clear way to strategize your company’s local content. For example, they were also able to clarify that it appears Facebook, Yelp and company websites are used by 32% to 38% of users as well. From these results it seems that the number of users utilizing things like Google Assistants, Apple Maps or Waze fall only between 13-19%.

Search Engine Land contributor Greg Sterling took these results a step further by comparing them to data provided by GatherUp, ThriveHive, and others to show that it’s very credible that Google Maps is and should be driving most customer local traffic.

Beyond just the platform in which users are searching we also were provided data to show that smartphones make up 81% of all “near me” searches with desktops or laptops making up 22%. Despite being on a mobile device, however, we’re also seeing that only 31% ae conducting these searches either “in the car” or “out and about.”

Essentially, what makes this important is that this is the information marketers and even businesses require to properly deliver for users making offline purchases. Consider these statistics when planning your local strategies.

Google Confirms A Local Search Update in 2019

On to our second story of the day, Google is confirming that they completed another local search update in their algorithm that will explain why many SEOs are seeing fluctuations and changes in their ranking over the last month.

Throughout the month of November, following the update, reports and comments regarding a local search update, many speculated and asked about the potential of a change. As of today, Google is owning and acknowledging the update and attributing the changes in performance as a result of Google’s improved neural matching systems.

What this means is that Google can now better understand when users’ queries have local intent whether or not a business name or location description are included in the query itself. For users affected, there is a local ranking help document that Google published long ago and is directing users to.

This launch occurred globally meaning the neural matching system for Google is tweaking businesses in multiple countries across the globe, showing clear evidence that it’s not just you experiencing the affects of these tweaks.

Barry Schwartz of Search Engine land summarized Google’s advice in the statement: Google’s advice here remains the same: relevance, prominence and distance are the keys to ranking well in local. It’s just that Google’s understanding of relevance has now expanded with neural matching.

Well, like I said earlier, we really wanted to keep this episode really quick and short. To see links or the transcript for this edition’s flash briefing, head on over to our site at findyourtailwind.com/blog and subscribe on your favorite listening platform. Until next week, I’m David Ericson and I want to thank you for listening in.

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