Here's what happened in the world of local SEO in the past week.

May 2020 Core Algorithm Update

On May 4th, Google announced that they would be rolling out a new update to their search algorithm, and by all appearances, this update appears to be having a major impact.  

The YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) category seems to be experiencing the most ranking volatility as this update takes effect.  This update is also more significant in terms of ranking fluctuations than the January core update, according to a Search Engine Land article authored by Barry Schwartz.

Diving into who actually saw the sharpest rank fluctuations, Lily Ray shared her findings, showing that some websites experienced massive ranking updates.  I recommend taking a look if you want to see some of the most extreme changes.

You can also read more about the update over at LocalU where Colan Nielsen included some interesting examples of local businesses that saw sharp increases in their visibility after the update.

The BrightLocal webinars are always interesting, but I really enjoyed their May 6th webinar with Gyi Tsakalakis of AttorneySync.  Gyi talks about link building, a normally fairly well-trodden subject, but from the perspective of local SEO.  The webinar also dives into the topic of spam, which is unfortunately all too easy to encounter when working in local SEO.

How A/B and Multivariate Testing Impacts SEO

Rachel Costello wrote an interesting article that not only introduces the concepts of A/B and multivariate testing, but also covers how to employ them successfully without doing damage in the SEO department.

The article dives deep into the common SEO mistakes that can be made during a test, including how Google may interpret your test as cloaking, which is against their terms of service and may result in a ranking penalty.

Rachel backed up her points with quotes from John Mueller of Google as well as Fabrice Chanel of Bing.  This is a well researched article that is very much worth your time, even if you're already familiar with A/B or multivariate testing.

SEO Meta Tag Generator

Joe Hall of HallAnalysis created a free SEO tool this week that is essentially a WYSIWYG editor for meta tags.  You type in a title and a content description and it produces the matching HTML tags.  The best part is that the tool will help you to remember all of the various flags that you can set, such as maximum snippet length or how many seconds a video preview should be.

(And it includes a nice poem.)  You can find it here on Joe's website.

Talking SEO Mentorship with Carolyn Lyden

The Agency Ahead podcast had a great interview with Carolyn Lyden about the challenges of starting an agency as a woman.  Carolyn talks about the importance of finding a community that understands you, and how she found that community for herself.

If you haven't listened to the Agency Ahead podcast, I recommend trying it out.  It's a fairly new podcast, but the guests are great and the production value is high, so it's a quality listen.

See you next week

I'll be keeping an eye on what happens during the next week, so stay tuned for another local SEO recap!