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Bug Responsible for Change in Google Local Rankings

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May 25, 2020
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Bug Responsible for Change in Google Local Rankings

At the end of April and start of May, local SEO community experienced lots of volatility and ongoing fluctuations with the local search results in both Google Maps and Google Search. But according to Google, they have found out that the culprit was not a change in algorithms but a bug.

According to a tweet by Google staffer Danny Sullivan, “Just wanted to update. Thanks for the examples. They helped us find a bug that we resolved about 2 weeks ago and that seems to have stabilized things ever since.”

Google assured two things: ‘Firstly, it’s not you, it’s me.’ Sometimes and only sometimes, changes you view in search rankings have nothing to do with you. At times, Google makes mistakes. But local rankings have been relatively stable over past couple of weeks, ever since Google fixed this specific bug.

Secondly Google indicated, ‘Why we care.’ This shows you that sometimes reacting to changes in Search when your site appears to have been hit by a change is always not, the best move. Often, it makes sense to wait a bit, examine the data, view what competitors are doing, do analysis on your own site data prior to inferring conclusions or taking action.

Though it is not at all common for Google to confirm a bug fix around rankings and indexing, it does happen sometimes.

In another tweet, Danny said, “I wonder what this bug was about but I guess this was an example of the SEO community helping Google to find an issue with Search and Google fixing something to make it better. Google does mistakes, Google does investigate issues and Google will fix bugs it finds.”

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