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Latest Unconfirmed Google Algorithm Update Impacting Local Rankings

Google sure knows how to keep us on our toes. After last week’s massive update, it appears as if another algorithm update has been rolling in, this time affecting local rankings such as local business listings in the Google local packs and Google Maps results.

According to Search Engine Roundtable, the rollout appears to have began on February 14th, because nothing says I love you like intense ranking fluctuations accompanying your romantic Valentines Day dinner.

But just like last time, Google has yet to officially confirm that an update has taken place.

So, how do we know an update is rolling out? Search Engine Roundtable cited chatter within the local SEO community along with fluctuations being reported by the BrightLocal Local Rankflux tool as indicators for an algorithm update.

The BrightLocal tool tracks daily ranking movements across 14,000+ keywords and helps to measure volatility and pick up on any suspected algorithm updates.

Here is what the tool has been reporting up until today:

Brightlocal tool showing ranking fluctuations

Source: BrightLocal

What this shows is some pretty big fluctuations in rankings for local results in Google Search starting on February 14th and continuing through until today.

It should be noted that this update is separate from the other big algorithm update we reported on last week.

However, it could be related to another previous local update from last week.

On February 11th, Search Engine Roundtable had reported about another update that took place the week prior that had also affected rankings.

Here’s what The BrightLocal Local Rank Flux chart was showing around that time:

BrightLocal tool ranking fluctuations up to February 8

Source: BrightLocal

It’s important to mention that prior to this unconfirmed update, there hadn’t been a confirmed local update from Google since November 2019. And when Google finally did confirm that update, nearly a month had passed.

So, it’s safe to say that you can stop holding your breath for now, because we likely won’t get much word, if any, from Google about the latest local update.