On February 27, 2012, Google launched the Venice update which was one of the more notable changes of 40 that occurred to the algorithm for the month of February. Busy month!
If you are interested in understanding each update please request the entire document and I will forward it to you.
“Improvements to ranking for local search results. [codename “Venice”] This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.
“Improved local results. We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user.”
The Update. Simply put, the Venice update localized organic results on broad search queries. Got that? If not, here are some examples…
The Results: Search “Divorce Attorney” with location set to United States.
Search “Divorce Attorney” with location set to Las Vegas.
Search “Divorce Lawyer” with location set to Chicago.
You’re probable thinking…. “Of course they did that on the term divorce lawyer. It’s a super localized search phrase. Unless a person has spouses in multiple states that is.”
But look at this SEO search query…
It is clear that finally 2012 can be declared the year of local. With Google Places localized results + Google Organic Localized results every company needs a localized plan weather you have a single location, multiple location…or no locations at all because the national SERPS just got a lot more crowded.