One of the main objectives for the SEO team at Dental Design is to keep up to speed with any Google updates. This ensures we are following Google’s best practices when it comes to search engine optimisation work and that we are up to date with what method’s work and what don’t. It is also important for us to be in the know, should the Google updates cause any fluctuations with our client’s search engine rankings.
Google have recently confirmed that they have added neural matching to local search, which is why there have been search ranking fluctuations in the last month or so:
So what does this mean? This is an algorithm update which enables Google to better understand a user’s search query. At the heart of it, Google will understand synonyms more effectivley which will produce more relevant results for long tail search.
To highlight this, consider the search and the results below:
The neural matching technique now allows Google to return results related to the ‘soap opera effect’ when a user enters a query like “why does my TV look strange?” This is significant because “why does my TV look strange?” seemingly has nothing to do with soap operas, but Google is still able to understand what the user may be looking for.
Google’s SEO advice here remains the same for local seach despite this update: relevance, prominence and distance are the keys to ranking well locally. It’s just that Google’s understanding of relevance has now expanded with neural matching.