Did you notice any changes on your website’s ranking this past month? Changes to local SEO on Google’s search algorithms may explain that.

They actually even confirmed it two weeks ago and some of our clients asked us how it would affect their local SEO.

Google confirms use of neural matching to generate local search results.

Neural Matching: An AI-powered word relation-machinery

Now, what’s neural matching?

In 2018, as they mention themselves, Google started to use it’s own system for analyzing content. The whole idea around this may seem hard to understand, but basically, they’re trying to better connect word to concept.

This aim to help the search engine give you what your’re looking for. To put this in an example, let’s pretend you’re looking for “how to change brightness on my laptop”.

Now, a simple search engine would revert back with all results containing information on “how to change brightness on a laptop”. The most relevant and popular websites or articles on top, of course.

However, this method leaves results out, such as “how to adjust brightness on a laptop”. But with neural matching, Google’s search engine will bring content with synonymous words into the search results.

Since content with the word “adjust” is equally correct way to ask the question, or maybe even better. It get’s to be in the game for your search queries.

This is just the very basic of this part of the algorithm’s. If you’d like to read more deeply about how Google’s search algorithm works, you can read it here, well at least their official version.

TL;DR: Neural Matching relates words to searches.

What has Neural Matching to do with local SEO?

With the latest algorithm updates, Google have as a goal to better match local business with search queries even beyond the business names.

Our understanding is that if you search for, let’s say “[brand] car repair”, some local business near you should rank higher than before. Or as some call it “surface”. At least if they mentioned the brand you’re looking for on their website or online listing along with a location near you. It is however not confirmed to what extent this impact search results. On top of that, Google haven’t provided any additional guidelines for how to create content.

Some reports have mentioned that website with lower quality or spam has gained ranking in the search results. Our beliefs are though that these will disappear as the bright engineers at Google will further optimize their algorithms for local SEO and search engine in general.

So, how do you create content for these local SEO changes? As always, try to think as the person who would look for your product, article or service. What would they search for? Bingo! Now give them their answer.

If you’d like help with SEO or content creation, feel free to contact us!


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