Google Confirms 'Openness' As Local Search Ranking Factor

Google Confirms 'Openness' As Local Search Ranking Factor

The latest move by Google in the Google search ranking game has SEO experts buzzing!

They have changed the algorithm to give your business operating hours to take your performance to the next level. 

Now, it's about more than just being found! It's about being located at the right time. 

So, according to Google, the term "Openness" is now a "stronger" ranking factor for local searches, raising serious concerns about the ranking element. 

Stay tuned to learn how it will affect your Google search ranking! 

"Openness" Confirm as "Stronger" Signal in Google Search Ranking 

Joy Hawkins from Sterling Sky noticed a shift after the November 2023 core update. And she has mentioned it in the X, formerly known as Twitter.

(Image credit: Search Engine Journal)

The new Google core update on November 2023 raised concerns about how Google's search ranking works. 

It shows that some local businesses were marked as closed and faced reduced visibility in the search results. It's a noteworthy trend affecting how your companies show up online.

So, here is the concern- 

If your business is not operating when someone searches for the service you excel in, your Google Business Profile might lag in Google Map Pack or Maps. 

It means you can significantly impact your Google Search Ranking, making it crucial to align your hours with user searches for optimal visibility.

The question is, what did Google say about this?

Let's take a look at it!

Following the discussion, Google's Search Liaison affirmed the recent emphasis on "openness" as a more significant signal for local search ranking. It is a personalised acknowledgement that sheds light on how transparent your business is and how this plays a crucial role in determining your visibility on Google search rankings.

They have twitted this, 

(Image Credit: Search Engine Journal) 

Check out the whole conversion here!

(Image Credit:Search Engine Journal) 

What are Non-Conventional Queries in Google Search Ranking?

"Openness," as described by Google's Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has long been integral to Google's local ranking system. 

However, recently, Google heightened its significance, particularly for non-navigational queries. So, when you are exploring services like lawyers or web design companies, rather than seeking a specific brand like CVS, this emphasis on "openness" significantly influences your Google search ranking.

Check out the whole post below!

( Image Credit: Search Engine Journal) 

Another question that lingers in other businesses' minds is how this signal of "Openness" will impact their business. 

What is the Concern that Businesses are Having About this Openness Factor in Google Search Ranking

There was a discussion on this on X, so Sherry Bonelli voiced her worries about a potential update. 

Moreover, she also highlighted her concerns that businesses might need to more consistently claim to operate 24/7 to enhance their Google search ranking in local searches. 

She gave her opinion that It's a strategy that could impact how they appear online and their overall visibility.

So, there is a concern that potential consequences might occur, which include a suboptimal user experience when searchers visit businesses during non-operating hours. Google responded promptly, cautioning against changing business hours as the ranking signal for openness undergoes continuous adjustments. 

Additionally, there's a risk of receiving a suspension email from Google for such alterations to avoid negatively impacting your Google search ranking.

So, Google responded this!

(Image Credit; Search Engine Journal)

How to Keep Your Business Profile Up-to-Date in Google Search Ranking

So, updating your Google Business Profile with accurate business hours is crucial if you have a local business, especially during the holidays. 

Are you questioning why?

We know the doubts. It is necessary to update it because updating minimises your customer' frustration during their last-minute shopping and enhances your brand visibility in local pack rankings. So, it means a high potential of attracting more customers through the "near me" searches.

Being open when others are closed can significantly affect Google's search ranking in the competitive landscape.

So, as the holiday season approaches, ensure your business hours are up-to-date. It is because updating your business profile becomes a strategic move to stand out and capture the attention of potential customers looking for products or services like yours. 

Do you want to stay ahead in the local search game?

Make this simple yet impactful adjustment of updating your Google Business Profile.

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