Google, I believe, for the first time ever, has confirmed a Google Local update. Google confirmed on Twitter the November local update we wrote about here a few times, some are also calling it the Bedlam update. But Google named it the Nov. 2019 Local Search Update.
We first wrote about this update on November 7th when we saw a lot of chatter within the local SEO community for a few days in a row. Then Joy Hawkins named it the Bedlam update, thinking this was a relevancy update – which is kind of is. It was neural matching getting into the local algorithm for the first time.
Let me go through everything I know about this update since I wrote about it at Search Engine Land.
(1) Google added neural matching to local queries, something Google did to normal queries back in 2018:
(2) It helps Google understand the query and how it related to concepts, including the business name but beyond that:
(3) Google is calling this the Nov. 2019 Local Search Update
(4) It is fully rolled out but it is AI based so things change over time with it:
(5) Nothing you need to change if you were impacted, just keep doing what you do:
(6) It is a global launch, impacting all languages and regions:
(7) It will continue to update but the bigger changes should have settled down by now:
(8) It is not new to search but new to local search results:
(9) It is not specific to fight spam but can help.
(10) This is unrelated to BERT:
(11) It is similar but not exactly like Hummingbird:
(12) This is about language, not proximity:
(13) Neural matching looks at both the query and the content:
(14) Content both in your Google My Business listing and elsewhere:
(15) Google will try to keep us updated on Local Search updates going forward, this is the first time Google confirmed a local update for us:
(16) It helps Google understand better:
So there are 16 things on this rollout for the Nov. 2019 Local Search Update and how Google added neural matching to local search.
Forum discussion at Twitter, WebmasterWorld and Local Search Forums.