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The Openness Algorithm Update: Your Top Asked Questions Answered

Google recently rocked the world of Local SEO by launching an update that made some pretty significant changes to the local results. We’re going to address some of the top questions we’re getting asked about how the Openness algorithm update works and what you should do about it.

Should I Change My Hours?

You should not just run and change your business hours to say you are open 24-7. Doing this can piss off your customers and we have seen it result in negative reviews for lots of businesses.

You should review your lead data to see when your business is getting phone calls, form submissions, and online chats. If these are happening after hours, you might want to consider changing your actual business hours or look into an after-hours answering service.

What Industries Is This Impacting?

We saw substantial changes at the beginning of November for a ton of our clients. Some of the industries we’ve seen substantial changes in include phone repair, lawyers, home services, and dentists.

Does Using “Online Service Hours” Help You Rank After-Hours?

Google has additional hours for certain industries. Yan Gilbert tested using “online service hours” for a business and found it did not impact what time of day that business ranked.

Why Do I Still See Closed Businesses Ranking?

If your business is closed, we see that your ranking is generally worse compared to when it is open. It doesn’t mean you will never see a closed business rank. This is one of hundreds of ranking factors. You will see the most variance for competitive keywords where the businesses aren’t all open during the same hours.

Have a question I didn’t address? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

Want more local SEO tips?
Join Our Next LocalU Webinar with Dale McGeorge of Jepto, Noah Learner & Joy Hawkins
February 27, 2024 at 3pm ET

Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

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