From around November 4 – November 11, 2019, there were a ton of changes to the local 3 pack.

As soon as the changes began, one of my clients asked me what was going on.

Rumors circulated and some people asked: Was this an algorithm change? What was it called? Is the algorithm proximity based? Is the algorithm affecting service area businesses? What should be done to regain traction? Is this related to the November 7, 2019 algorithm update?

The answers to those questions are probably not, no, no, no, no and no.

What happened?

One of my newest clients went from #3 in the 3 pack to about #20. Yikes. Of course, I am doing nothing but improving their Internet presence, but, that isn’t very reassuring. Well, I waited it out and informed them later. No need to create anxiousness with the new client. November 6 they dropped to #20. November 9 they shot up to #1. November 10 they dropped to #2. And, November 10th they fell back into position #3.

I figure either Google My Business had a freak accident or they were testing something. I have, however, wondered what would happen if Google simply put the local results on ‘shuffle mode’. If I had to bet on this, I’d say it was just a random problem over at Google My Business. They have been plagued with terrible problems all of 2019. In fact, they just shut their support phone off today, likely due to all of the outrage.

There are some people saying that the way Google is displaying results based on the proximity of the user has changed. That could be true and to be clear, I don’t have enough data or evidence to comment on this. It’s also beyond the scope of things I pay attention to, as, Google should always be working on improving.

Update: More flux November 12 – November 14.

As an update to this article, my same clients who disappeared last week disappeared again this week. One client disappeared from maps, the other went down about 20 spots. We changed nothing, and November 14 they returned to the Local Pack. These are sites which rank high organically in very competitive (attorney) niches.

I am only monitoring a couple dozen Local Packs but they all keep returning to normal after they go wacky.

Were your local search results affected?

If you had a glitch in your local results or have yet to regain them, please feel free to share your story with the world in the comments section below.

  1. Update: Some have been calling this the “Bedlam” update. If any of my niches are impacted I will update the post above. GMB is indeed in a total state of chaos at the moment, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. November 21, 2019 Update: I am not monitoring this too closely, but I am indeed still seeing a lot of movement in some markets. In general, things go totally wacky for a day or two and then return to “normal”.

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