How Neural Matching Impacts Local Search and SEO – BrandMuscle
How Neural Matching Impacts Local Search and SEO
January 6, 2020
By: Jason Tabeling, EVP Product Strategy

We know Google is always tweaking its algorithm to ensure the best results are surfaced for its users. In 2019 there were over seven substantial changes and hundreds of smaller ones. In early December 2019, Google announced an algorithm update that had begun to roll out in November was, “making use of neural matching as part of the process of generating local search results.” This update is yet another step in Google’s ability to interpret not only the keywords entered, but the context and intent of the keywords submitted.

What is Neural Matching?

Neural matching started in 2018 and was used to better understand how words are related to searches. Essentially, it's creating a better understanding of synonyms for various concepts. The example Google provided was:

What is the SEO impact?

This update doesn’t require much be done in order to improve SEO results; if anything, it reinforces the basics. According to BrightLocal the key times of volatility occurred in early November and have really slowed down to their lowest levels in 2019. This indicates that the amount of change businesses are seeing in their daily rankings has slowed down as 2019 came to an end and after this algorithm update.

What should I be doing to ensure my site is performing its best?

Our recommendations are to focus on three key elements based on this algorithm update:

1. Create relevant content – Think about how users are searching for your business offering and how you can best write site content to be found based on these searches.

2. Keep your content fresh – Your job isn’t done when the original content goes live. You must keep your content updated and current. This might mean writing content for promotions, offers, new jobs, or just things happening in your community, but Google rewards business with frequently fresh content on their site.

3. Keep location data current – Google My Business and other location data provider information needs to be current, complete, and accurate. Read more about the importance of LDM.

About the Author

As EVP of Product Management, Jason Tabeling creates a unified strategic roadmap for the organization across its full suite of products. Jason joined BrandMuscle as Senior Vice President of Digital in 2016. Shortly after, he led strategic efforts to combine the digital, traditional, social media and event marketing teams at BrandMuscle into a single department and center of excellence for BrandMuscle’s clients. Today that team totals 95 and counting. Under his leadership, client demand and satisfaction has grown and employees have thrived.