Yesterday we reported on significant local ranking changes within Google, both local results in web search and Google Maps.
We suspected those ranking changes might be related to the Google Maps Googlebomb fix that rolled out around the same time that we noticed these local ranking changes, but Google won’t say if the local changes are related to this fix or not.
Google noted the changes are happening, but they wouldn’t confirm anything other than the usual saying that Google is always changing things and improving their algorithms. This morning, Gary Illyes from Google also confirmed investigating the reports of these local changes. But Google will not add more to what changed and why.
Late last week, Google Maps got in some hot water for showing racist results in their Google Maps listings. Later on that week, Google issued a formal apology and said “we’ve started to update our ranking system to address the majority of these searches—this will gradually roll out globally and we’ll continue to refine our systems over time.”
A couple days later, local SEO experts noticed major changes in the local results.