Google to change how local search results are being generated

Google has recently confirmed their new update, which will affect how local search results will be generated. The process began back in early November, and is now full rolled out. In this article, we will look at what the new update means, how the update will affect search results and the impact it will have in the future.

The new update, which is being referred to as the ‘November 2019 local search update’, Involves the application of ‘neural matching’ into local search results. Google has explained the update in a tweet published this year, referring to neural matching as a ‘super synonym system’.

‘Neural matching is an AI-based system Google began using in 2018 primarily to understand how words are related to concepts. It’s like a super-synonym system. Synonyms are words that are closely related to other words…’

“The use of neural matching means that Google can do a better job going beyond the exact words in business name or description to understand conceptually how it might be related to the words searchers use and their intents.”

Effectively, neural matching is the term used for the process of better understanding how words are related to concepts. Through this, Google will be able to understand more in-depth meanings behind search queries and then match them to the most relevant business or organisation. This will apply even if the keywords used in the query aren’t necessarily included within the business’s name or description.

Through neural matching, it is now possible for business listings to appear for queries in which they may not have shown up for before, prior to the new update. Although this update is now fully rolled out, Google has stated that the local search results as they are displayed now, are not fixed, and can regularly change over time, as is the case with regular search results.

It is not yet known how much of an impact this update will have on local search results in the future, although it should be noted that the update has been confirmed as a global launch across all languages, regions and countries.

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