In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. With the majority of consumers turning to the internet to search for products and services, it has become increasingly important for companies to optimize their online visibility.

One key factor in achieving this is understanding and utilizing Google’s local search algorithm. This algorithm is constantly evolving and is responsible for determining the ranking of local businesses in search results.

However, there is one aspect of this algorithm that has gained significant attention in recent years – ‘openness’. This term refers to the accuracy and consistency of a business’s online information, such as its address, contact details, and business hours.

In this article, we will delve into the significance of ‘openness’ in Google’s local search algorithm and why it is crucial for businesses to pay attention to it.

We will explore the impact of having accurate and consistent information on local search rankings and provide valuable insights on how to optimize your business’s ‘openness’ to maximize online visibility and attract potential customers.

Google Has Made Adjustments

New research conducted by experts in search engine optimization (SEO) reveals that Google has made adjustments to its local search algorithm. This update places greater importance on the hours of operation listed by businesses, serving as a crucial indicator for ranking positions.

Renowned industry professional, Joy Hawkins from Sterling Sky, observed this emerging trend following the core update in November 2023. The implications of this adjustment are significant, as businesses that are listed as closed experience a notable decrease in visibility within local search results.

The Significance of Business Hours in Local Ranking Systems Amplified

Google’s Search Liaison has acknowledged the observations made during the discussion and has confirmed that the significance of “openness” as a signal for local search has increased in recent times.

The revelation prompted an array of further inquiries, commencing with the elucidation of a non-navigational query’s precise meaning.

Potential Worries Regarding the Way Businesses Embrace the Element of ‘Openness’

Sherry Bonelli raised valid concerns in a separate section of the ongoing discussion on X. She expressed worry regarding a recent update that may incentivize certain businesses to dishonestly claim to operate 24/7 in order to enhance their visibility in local searches.

This deceptive practice could ultimately result in a negative user experience for searchers, who may visit these businesses only to find them closed during non-operating hours.

In response to these concerns, Google promptly acknowledged the issue and advised against manipulating business hours. They emphasized that the ranking signal for business openness is continuously being adjusted and cautioned against engaging in such behavior.

Additionally, there is a possibility that you might receive an email from Google showcasing their recently revamped suspension design.

Optimal Approach: Ensure Timely Updates of Operational Hours in Google Business Profiles

It is highly recommended for local businesses to ensure that their business hours on Google Business Profiles are kept up-to-date, especially during the holiday season. This practice can have a significant impact on their visibility in local search results.

By maintaining accurate operational hours, businesses can greatly reduce customer frustration during the last few days of the shopping season. This is crucial for providing a seamless and satisfactory experience to potential buyers.

Moreover, ensuring accurate business hours can also enhance a business’s visibility in local pack rankings. It can make them more attractive to customers conducting “near me” searches, especially if their competitors happen to be closed during certain periods.

Overall, maintaining current business hours on Google Business Profiles is not only beneficial for customers but can also positively impact a business’s local search visibility and potential customer attraction, particularly when compared to competitors with outdated or closed hours.

In Conclusion

Understanding the importance of ‘openness’ in Google’s local search algorithm is crucial for businesses looking to improve their online presence. By implementing practices such as regularly updating business information, engaging with customer reviews, and maintaining a strong online presence, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in local search results.

Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of online search algorithms is essential for staying competitive and reaching potential customers. So, remember to prioritize ‘openness’ in your local SEO strategy to see positive results in your online visibility and customer engagement.

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Moreover, if you looking for a Local SEO and Marketing Company to help you rank locally, we at Brian Zenarosa Digital can help you out. Book a discovery call today.