Not long ago, there were some hacks performed on Google Maps that resulted in some racist results found on the well known online map feature. Soon after, a Googlebomb fix was implemented to prevent racist listings in Google Maps. Google had apologized for the Google Maps Googlebomb racist results, but it seems that there a drastic shift in local search results.
It seems that location results have become screwy, according to Mike Blumenthal, which has been reported by a great number of local SEOS, who has reported major shifts in the local results. There are examples (which can be found in the link at the beginning of this paragraph) of Google having issues with showing your current location when searching. Even if your location has been set properly, the local results that display in the web search results are completely off.
It was said by Linda Burquet in the local Search Forums thate there are now more national organic and less localized organic results that are showing in the Google search results. There were so many changes that she’d noticed recently, that it was scary. I’ll bet anything that those where where responsible for the hacks believe that this unexpected problem with the search results are just icing on the cake.
But here’s what’s interesting. According to Mozcast, beginning from the 15th, the changes didn’t begin until the 23rd or 24th of May. There was a fairly decent time lapse between the 15th and the 23rd. Such a time difference was a little odd.
Google said then:
We’ve started to update our ranking system to address the majority of these searches—this will gradually roll out globally and we’ll continue to refine our systems over time.