Local SEO: Google Hawk Update

Google has a habit of slipping in upgrades that swoop down on us like unsuspecting field mice scurrying about our business. It is constantly tweaking its system in an effort to provide users with an even better service.

Notable upgrades have included Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Possum. Columnist Jay Hawkins calls the latest change the Google Hawk Update, “because hawks eat possums” which is unfortunately true.


How Search Engine Optimizing Works (Broad Brush Strokes)

The positive impact of SEO aims to represent a website in the best possible light when viewed through the Google lens. Remember, Google is a computer, although it does showcase its offices as fun places filled by beautiful people. Google East Coast HQ, for example, features a labyrinth of play areas; cafes, coffee bars and open kitchens. James Stewart adds “sunny outdoor terraces with chaises; and gourmet cafeterias that serve free breakfast, lunch, and dinner”.

Meanwhile, Google’s vast computers whirl and click away as they search for and list the very best information about every conceivable topic in every language of the world. They use a confidential process and a secret set of rules known only to themselves. Although we can, as is the case with Google Hawk, come close to figuring what these are by analyzing search results.


How the Google Hawk Update Affects SEO Marketers

I need to go back a year to explain this. All major google upgrades have attempted to out-maneuver cowboy web designers who will do anything to appear at the top of search results. Google Possum was firmly on the side of honest SEO marketing when it tried to filter multiple listings for the same company.

Whereas the basic filter had been around a long time, this only looked for entities sharing the same phone number, or website. Possum refined this by filtering out listings physically located near each other and added industry type as a further discriminator. This caused a fair amount of chaos, especially for businesses in densely populated areas.

  • If two businesses in the same industry shared a building one was bumped
  • Something similar happened to one (or more) businesses in the same street

This made it tough for some enterprises that could effectively do nothing except relocate. While others benefited greatly from the bug, which is what it actually was.

Google introduced its latest tweak on August 22, 2017, when it stopped filtering out businesses in close proximity. However, if you are a drugstore and you share a shopping center with another one, either you or they could be a victim of the Google Hawk Update. However, from the consumer’s perspective, they did gain a wider choice.


Secrets of the SEO Market in a Nut Shell

Google uses a variety of different tools to assess the value of a web page. These include the value of the content it analyses using computer programs and its relative importance in terms of links. While a position on the first results page may increase the user’s confidence, this seldom converts to a sale. The SEO in the background and the quality of the content does the optimizing. In a nutshell, this is what CNG Digital Marketing does (although we don’t have a merry-go-round in the boardroom or an alfresco café).


Want to talk with a local SEO expert? 

Get in Touch

Share to LinkedIn LinkedIn
, Number of shares
Share to Google+ Google+ Share to Reddit Reddit
, Number of shares