Google Confirms Local Search Algorithm Update: November 2021

local search update

Google has confirmed that the recent updates to the local search algorithm, dubbed the November 2021 local search update, were implemented.

Google announced the end of an algorithm change that began rolling out to local search results starting November 30th and finished on December 8th (most effects were seen December 6th).

A “rebalancing” of ranking criteria was conducted as part of this update.

The December 2020 update is now called the “November 2021 local search update.” Although the modifications would not have been felt until the first week of December,

Google’s advice for this upgrade is to continue adhering to local SEO best practices mentioned in the tweet below.

Keep in mind that each ranking criterion mentioned in Google’s help documentation has been reweighted.

The following are the ranking criteria used by Google in its local search results:

  • Relevance: What are the search terms people use to find local Business Profiles? How closely do they match?
  • Distance: The distance between each possible search result and the location term used in a search is measured.
  • Prominence: How well-known is a company?

Google never provides the precise weight of each ranking element. As a result, perhaps the greatest approach to react to this news is to rebalance your strategy.

For example, suppose you’ve been focusing on optimizing for relevance by building your Google Business Profile with information. In that case, it may be time to shift focus to the prominence of your company.

November was a busy month for SEO, with several Google algorithm changes.

However, determining if you were affected by the November 2021 local search update should be relatively straightforward.

A local search update should only impact your Google Business Profile’s position in the local pack.

If your Google Business Profile’s ranking remains the same, there’s a good chance this update hasn’t hurt you.

Learn more about this update with Sterlingsky’s excellent analysis:


  • What is a Local Search Algorithm Update?

Published on: 2021-12-18
Updated on: 2022-05-26

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.