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The Venice Update is a change to the Google Algorithms that affects organic search. Local Search Results are more frequently output when user enter a certain term at a specific location in the Google search.
As early as February 2012 Venice was implemented in the USA. A few months later, the update was effective in Germany. Google informed Webmasters and users quite casually about the change in the search results: “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.”
If a user enters the term “florist” in the search bar, they will first get results that might be relevant to their region, in other words, a florist in their immediate locale. Google will display these results using the IP Address or the location settings in Google Search. If the user’s computer is located in New York or surrounding area, local search results would be of interest to him according to Google’s assumption.
GooglePlus Local is differentiated from local search results for general search queries. These Snippet include companies and websites that are registered with Google+ Local or have a Google+ profile. Such snippets will not be output for all search queries if the search term is too general (generic keywords such as flowers or car). And only companies with a Google+ Local entry will appear in this snippet. The Venice Update, however, affects the entire organic search results, in other words, the Universal Searches. The user’s IP Address plays an important role for each query, even if they have not specified any location settings. With requests increasingly coming via mobile devices, the local search is even more important. In this case, Google has even more data available about the location of the device, such as GPS coordinates to display relevant results.
Relevance to SEO
The Venice update consequences were extensive. Whereas local search engine optimization was so far a sub-area of general Search Engine Optimization, the targeting of Content to local search queries has become even more important. This is especially true for companies operating in certain sectors and have regional customers. Local aspects are at the forefront of the general search. However, this also means that there is a great potential for regional companies to move upwards in search results. A first measure may be to enter the location of the company in the metadata of the webpages. Furthermore, Link building can be expanded increasingly to regional resources. Such measures should, however, depend on whether a local search query has been entered or whether the term being searched is not related to local aspects at all. Therefore, a prior keyword analysis is recommended.
The ramification for companies that sell their products online can be a loss of ranking in the organic search results, because local results can occupy the top positions for specific search queries. However, it is very probable that the Venice update does not decrease the ranking of websites that are already in the top places but the Venice update does affect SEO analysis, because search results can be checked by using the location or the IP address. SEOs would end up having to change the location settings constantly, which can be time-consuming.
- Search quality highlights: 40 changes for February. Insidesearch Blogspot. Accessed on 12/17/2013
- Why Google’s Venice Update Fundamentally Changes Global SEO. Searchengineland. Accessed on 12/17/2013