About Local RankFlux

BrightLocal’s Local RankFlux tool monitors daily changes in Google’s local search results to identify fluctuations in Google’s local search algorithm. 

While most traditional algorithm trackers monitor fluctuations in Google’s organic results, our Local RankFlux tool is 100% focused on local search results that appear in Google’s Local Finder (akin to Google Maps).

How the Local RankFlux score is calculated

28 keywords x 26 industries x 20 cities = 14,560 keywords (560 per industry)

Local RankFlux plots the ranking position of each business in the top 20 search results and compares that ranking to the previous day’s position to determine the daily change.

Local RankFlux applies a weighting to different ranking positions to match the perceived importance and ranking value of positions in Google’s local search results. 

Higher rankings (i.e. #1-2) have greater significance and ranking value than lower rankings (i.e. #19-20) and are therefore given a higher weighting in the Local RankFlux score calculation.  

Thus, if a business moves from position #2 to #4, this represents a bigger fluctuation than a business that moves from #19 to #17, and the Local RankFlux calculation takes this into account∞.

Local RankFlux then multiplies the change in position between today’s and yesterday’s rankings by the weighting to create a total daily fluctuation. This total is then converted into an average based on the number of keywords that returned meaningful results^ and a score produced for All Industries and for each individual industry. 

  • (For all keywords) Change in position x weighting = Total Daily Fluctuation
  • Total Daily Fluctuation / Number of Keywords = Average Fluctuation score

Daily fluctuation scores are then plotted on the Local RankFlux chart.

*We ignore paid-for positions in results and only consider the non-paid results.

Any new businesses that appear in the top 20 results but weren’t there the day before are presumed to have been in #21 the day before (it’s not an exact science but it’s the only way we can treat these).

^Each day a small percentage (circa 5%) of keywords returns results that we suspect are inaccurate (i.e. they show less than 20 results whereas the day before they do show 20). We strip these results out so they don’t skew the accuracy of the Local RankFlux score.

Atlanta, GAAurora, IL
Austin, TXBoston, MA
Buffalo, NYCharlotte, NC
Chicago, ILColumbus, OH
Dallas, TXDenver, CO
Eugene, ORFresno, CA
Huntsville, ALMcKinney, TX
Memphis, TNMilwaukee, WI
Orlando, FLPittsburgh, PI
Portland, ORSan Diego, CA

How to read the Local RankFlux score

We expect to see small changes in ranking positions every day, as some businesses go up and down the results based on changes in their SEO and how Google values them. This means that we expect a certain amount of fluctuation in the Local RankFlux score each day.

However, when Google releases a significant change to their local search algorithm we will see a bigger fluctuation and therefore a higher score.

Daily Local RankFlux Scores:

  • 0-3 indicates ‘low’, expected fluctuation (i.e. nothing significant has happened)
  • 3.1-6 indicates ‘medium’ fluctuation (i.e. something minor has happened)
  • 6.1-10 indicates ‘high’ fluctuation (i.e. something major has happened – likely a local algorithm update)

Please note: the expected daily fluctuation levels differs between industries, i.e. hotels, restaurants and pubs see greater daily fluctuation and volatility than other industries. We’d recommend bearing this in mind when looking at scores for specific industries.

Get alerted to changes in Google’s local algorithm

You can get alerted to any changes by signing up Local RankFlux update emails. You can sign up for Daily alerts, Weekly alerts, or Urgent alerts (which are only sent when ‘High Fluctuation’ is detected).

You can also join in the discussion, or simply follow what’s going on by using #LocalRankFlux on Twitter.

If you have any questions about Local RankFlux please contact us at marketing@brightlocal.com.  

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