Google has recently implemented a crucial update that significantly impacts local search rankings. This update emphasizes the relevance of a business’s opening hours and its “openness.” Particularly, it has notably affected queries based on categories, reshaping the visibility of businesses in local search results.
The Impact on Local Search Results
Following the November Core Update, international SEO experts swiftly identified the substantial influence of this new factor on local search outcomes. Businesses currently open during a user’s search query time gained precedence over those closed at that time, resulting in higher positions in local search results.
Google has officially confirmed the implementation of this new ranking element. The search engine now prioritizes showcasing open establishments in local search results. However, Google mentioned that ongoing assessments of this factor’s advantages might lead to future adjustments.
Operational Hours and Category Queries
The emphasis lies on operational hours in the context of category-based inquiries. These inquiries differ from brand-specific searches, focusing on general business or service categories rather than specific brands, notes NIX Solutions.
Best Practices Recommended
SEO specialists advise businesses to regularly verify and synchronize their actual operational hours with online mapping services. This proactive approach ensures alignment between a business’s real operational hours and its representation on online maps. For businesses operating round the clock, accurately reflecting this status on maps could provide a competitive edge in local search rankings, especially during competitors’ closing hours.