This algorithm update has been known as the Vicinity Update due in part to its effect on users’ ability to see search results based on vicinity - and is the largest of its kind in at least three years. At Leadhub, staying on top of the latest in SEO trends is just another day at the office; with that in mind, let’s break down the Vicinity Update.
The Vicinity Update has already made a few changes to Google Maps results for users globally, but the rollout has been slow. If the update is not appearing yet in your area, fret not - it’s on the way. The first major change is one made to how Google Maps appear. You may notice that the map appears more zoomed out, but rest assured that it is covering a similar surface area than before. There is also greater attention paid to images and image quality, favoring larger and better quality images. The biggest change, however, comes to how Google will deliver search results based upon proximity. The Vicinity Update gets its name from the way Google will be delivering map search results based upon the closeness to the perceived city center of any given location. This can be a major impact for our home service clients that have wide service areas and may not always have locations near the city center of their service area.
Some other changes that are on the way is the way Google prioritizes recent and engaged reviews as a sign of a businesses health and overall quality. Responding to reviews both negative and positive and engaging in a strategy to actively collect reviews from not just Google but Facebook, Yelp, Angie’s List and more will aid in your ranking based on the new algorithm changes brought about by the Vicinity Update.
Another large change that’s coming is a heavier weight placed on the quality of your website - things like the overall health of the site, the amount of links with an especially high preference to local backlinks and loading speed. Having a healthy and responsive website has always been a key pillar of appeasing the algorithm but with the Vicinity Update. That case is even more true and necessary now to rank highly on Google.
There are plenty of steps that can be made to help ensure your business ranks despite the Vicinity Update, and there are even more ways to help your business rank even better thanks to changes to the algorithm the Vicinity Update has added. Here at Leadhub, we’re on top of studying and strategizing our next moves with the Vicinity Update in mind for our clients and for the future. If you are a current client and would like to learn more about the Vicinity Update, reach out to your brand manager and they will be happy to have a conversation about your current SEO strategy. If you would like to safeguard your business from this and many more algorithm changes that are on the way, contact Leadhub to craft a plan and execute custom strategies. This will ensure your business not only ranks but shows your website to the right kind of customer you’re trying to reach.