April 2020 Local Algorithm Update
Colan Nielsen

We have been observing massive local ranking fluctuations that seem to have started around April 23, 2020. There is an active discussion happening at the Local Search Forum. We started to see the second wave of massive ranking fluctuation that corresponds with the announcement of the broad core algorithm update on May 4, 2020.

Here’s a visual that shows the initial ranking fluctuation, as well as the massive increase in fluctuation right after the core update was announced. We use Bright Local’s Local Rank Flux tool to understand the local ranking fluctuation at a high level. The tool tracks daily ranking movements across 14,000+ keywords to measure volatility and identify suspected algorithm updates.

As of this morning (May 7, 2020), the Local Rank Flux tool score was the highest that we have seen in a long time. So whatever is happening has not settled down.

Some Examples of How Fluxy Things Are

So far the majority of examples we have analyzed have been decreased rankings. However, we’ve seen a few examples where local rankings had a massive increase.

Example #1 – Law Firm in Atlanta (Ranking Increase)

Example #2 – Private Investigator (Ranking Decrease with Recovery)

Example #3 – Insurance Agency (Ranking Decrease)

Example #4 – HVAC Company (Ranking Decrease)

Here’s another example that Darren Shaw shared on Twitter.

We recommend that you follow the thread at the Local Search Forum for more examples and updates. Do you have some examples to share? If so, please add them to the thread.

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Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.