Google updates its algorithm not far from everyday and it is only those updates which have a significant impact on rankings which make ripples in the SEO world. The Google Venice update is one of these.Venice has not yet attracted the buzz or ranking impacts that Panda, or even Caffeine, received. However for it is more what this update signifies, as opposed to immediate ranking impact, which imparts the biggest significance for SEO professionals.The Venice update is essentially a newer (and more aggressive) integration of local results into the SERPS. Where previously dominated by big brands, the Venice Update allows smaller and typically lower weight sites to feature higher up in organic listings.
Why has Google made this change?
With the focus on social and SPYW, it is inevitable that big brands are going to find it easier to achieve these ranking metrics; is this Googles response to allow less established brands a fairer chance? Maybe. Though more likely is that this shift is part of their efforts to regain control of which sites it chooses to rank by making ranking factors more difficult to game (well come back to this). By flooding the SERPs with local pages this only encourages nationwide business to increase their focus on paid search.Equally with the new EU Cookie Directive more users will be searching logged out, tracking geo data in this way means that Google can offer more personalised searches to those even searching incognito.This will, however, have an impact on ranking relevancy. When I Google SEO company for example, I am not necessarily looking for a company which is based within the same city as me. In fact, this is not even particularly relevant to my search. If I were looking for location specific results, I would search for location specific results, SEO company Oxford for example. The initial draw to buying online (for me, at least) was that I was open to a whole world of products that I would not be otherwise; I dont want to see Google shrinking back and giving preference to services which are on my doorstep. I could be wrong but thats not really the point, is it?