SEO Updates April 23, 2021

It’s time for your info-packed SEO newsletter to kick off the weekend and keep you up to date on the latest news, SEO tactics, tests, and so much more.

We had an exciting week and you won’t want to miss a thing!

  • What Happened on the SEO Vault this Week
  • Deal of the week: 20% cashback on all link purchases. Plus, Spend $500+ on links get 1) Google News link free ($125 value)
  • SEO Mad Scientist: Does Listing a GMB Service Area Do Anything?

To your success,
Chaz and the Entire Team

FROM THE VAULT – Episode 85

Don’t forget The SEO Vault airs live on the Web 20 Ranker Facebook every Thursday at 4 pm EST.

Co-Host: Sophie Allen + Mike Milas

Special Guest: Bucky Helms

? Web 20 – Custom Signals Service Update
? Page speed beta pushed back based on nitro pack rumor
? Google postponing the Page Experience Update
? Google Gains New Page Experience Report In Search Console
?Google Local Updates Adds New Indicator & Photo Updates From Visitors

– Watch the Latest SEO Vault Episode here

– Listen here

Interested in being a guest on the vault!? Sign up now

It’s a Cashback Weekend!


20% Cashback on any and all link purchases

Plus, When you spend $500+ on links you’ll receive
1) Free Google News link free ($125 value)

Yes, you read that right! This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only.. all link purchases will receive 20% cashback in store credit to use on a future purchase (no limit!!!)

We’re also throwing in 1) FREE Google News Link from Freshlinks when you spend $500 or more

Whether you need $20 in links or $2,000 we’ll send you 20% of your total link spend! The savings this weekend are out of this world!

With so many links to choose from, we’ve created a guide that will help you streamline the link planning and buying process and will help you determine the best way to use each link type for your specific project or campaign

SEO Mad Scientist ???

All right scientists, time for another exciting week of updates but this time we want your help.

As you know we’ve been testing service areas to try and better understand how they’re considered and rankings work. We were going over a Fort Lauderdale listing where we had previously removed the address. Google added the service area to the address but they didn’t add Fort Lauderdale. Instead, they added Oakland Park, FL.

When we started running our geogrids we noticed that our rankings towards the center of Fort Lauderdale started to drop and we speculated that it was possibly due to the removal of the address and that the service area was actually just North of Fort Lauderdale.

This week we went to go add Fort Lauderdale as a service area to see if those rankings could be recovered. Unfortunately for some reason Google completely stopped us from adding any additional service areas to this listing. We will try again in the future as it seems like some kind of bug but we’re not experiencing this on any of our other listings even on the same Gmail account.

This led us to do some digging into what we saw happening, however, it ended up taking us down a rabbit hole…

Let’s start with the original address that this listing was listed at.

5999-5901 NW 1st Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334, USA

If you Google search this address you can clearly see Google says that it’s in Fort Lauderdale however, the organic search shows otherwise.

We then checked if this address was within the Fort Lauderdale city limits which we found were very confusing (city limits outlined in red).

We weren’t able to fully identify if it was inside the city limits or not but it was clearly on the upper north side if not right outside the Northside of Fort Lauderdale.

This would definitely explain why we have better rankings on the Northside but not so much in the central area of Fort Lauderdale.

So now the question is… did the listing of the address that said Fort Lauderdale give it more relevance for keywords in Fort Lauderdale or for keywords containing the term Fort Lauderdale?

This question led us to start digging into one of our old tests. We had previously taken a plumber listing located in Hanover, PA, and added the service area to Gettysburg, PA to see how it affected rankings.

We initially saw no listings when searching for keywords from Gettysburg but after doing the change we started to see our listing on page six and seven for various keywords while searching within the city limits.

At the time we did not show for Gettysburg keywords and were not showing in Gettysburg for searching our brand name.

Now we are seeing both!

This again gives the impression that the service area is somehow affecting what SERPs Google is willing to place your business in but still doesn’t show much in the way of ranking signals or relevance.

The results are minimal and with GMB being so volatile, it’s hard to make full conclusions from the results.

So what do you think?

Why do you think Google has stopped us from adding service areas to our Fort Lauderdale listing?

Is the Fort Lauderdale listing actually in Fort Lauderdale or where Google decided to put the service area?

Most importantly, is the service area having any impacts on rankings whatsoever?

Let us know what you think in the Facebook group!

We will be back next week with more data to see if we can find answers to these questions. We hope to have some results to look at on our other tests as well.

Let us know what you think in the group and until next week, Happy Testing!

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