Google included neural matching in local search algorithm update, which is the major reason many are seeing local ranking changes in the previous month.
Google has confirmed the various reports related to local search algorithm update that started at the beginning of November. The update is identified with Google “using neural matching as a major aspect towards creating local search results,” Google said by means of the @SearchLiason twitter account.
Confirmation of the Update
Google has confirmed that it started using neural matching for local search results & local ranking changes at 12:10 PM ET Monday:
What is Neural Matching?
Neural Matching is an algorithm that uses Google’s latest AI technology to better understand and able to generate more diverse results when users’ queries have local search intent even when the business name or description is excluded.
There are no necessary changes a business needs to make because of this update. Google guides businesses to the basics of how to improve local ranking help document published sometime in the past.
Google posted an update saying “this was a global launch covering countries and languages worldwide.” So this affected not only U.S. areas but worldwide, in all nations & languages that Google is accessible in.
Neural Matching at Google
Google said it started utilizing neural matching in local search results in 2018 to understand the users’queries to give better results.
Like BERT and RankBrain algorithms, neural matching assists Google with improving query mapping to results, it varies in its function. Google’s Danny Sullivan has referred neural matching as “a super synonym system”. See Google’s neural matching versus RankBrain for more details.
Now we have clear proof that it’s not only your imagination or just the data showing the ranking changes with the local search results. Google stated that it is now using neural matching to understand the users’ queries in a much better way and thus Google might show distinctive local search results as a result of it. A year ago, Sullivan said neural matching was affecting 30% of queries. That is definitely expanded with the roll-out of it to local search queries.
Google’s recommendations stay the same here i.e. relevance, prominence, and distance are the keys to ranking on top in the local search results. It’s simply that Google’s understanding of relevance has now extended with neural matching.