Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | December 29, 2018

Still on Page One? Google’s New Automatic Local Search Filters are Shaking Things Up

Google continues to enhance users’ experience by becoming more intuitive with its local search results.

Earlier this year, Google began releasing FILTERS which gave users the ability to sort local search results by things like “price”, “star rating” and “operating hours”. Now, Google has taken it one step further by understanding user intent and automatically applying those filters on its own. It has taken even more control of the search results to bring you the most relevant options.

What Do Automatic Filters Mean for Businesses?

When Google automatically filters local businesses for those with 4-star ratings and higher it places a lot of businesses at risk of losing online visibility. Think about the way you use Google Maps; it’s quite common for users to search terms like “Best Doctor”, “Best Restaurant” and “Best Auto Dealer” when they are looking for a local business.

With Google’s automatic filters, popular businesses that have failed to manage their online reputation may now become completely excluded from the search results.

Google continues to make it easier for users to sort out low-star businesses and find ones with the highest ratings/reviews. These types of features and filters make it crucial for businesses to manage their online reputation and generate more positive reviews. Using tools like automated review generation and a complete reputation management platform, you can ensure your business doesn’t fall victim to Google’s new star rating filters.

As for the rest of Google’s automatic filters, they only strengthen the argument for having accurate and consistent listing information. Along with your business name, address and phone number, it is now just as important that your business listing is as detailed and accurate as possible, complete with everything from operation hours to pricing information.

The New Google Filters

The most impactful of these new automatic filters is the one Google applies when users search for the “Best” business. If you want to find the “Best Attorney in San Diego” or the “Best Restaurant near me”, Google will automatically filter all of the results to only include nearby attorneys or restaurants with a 4-Star rating or higher. For many businesses, this popular search could drastically influence their ability to rank in Google’s local search results.

Along with star ratings, Google also has automatic filters for store hours. If you search Google for “Auto shop open now”, Google will automatically filter all of the results to only include nearby auto shops that are currently open. Additionally, if you search for something like “24/7 gas station”, Google applies filters for that too.

The last update to Google’s automatic filters is for prices. If you are looking for a fine dining experience and search for something like “Fancy Restaurants” or “Nice Restaurants”, Google will automatically filter your results for the most expensive restaurants in your area. If you’d rather spend a little less, just search for something like “Cheap restaurants” or “Affordable Restaurants” and Google will apply a filter for that as well.

Local searches are now 46% of all searches on Google and that number will only continue to rise. With the growing popularity of local search, Google is doing everything it can to enhance the local experience. It continues to take steps toward making local search faster, more relevant, and more reliable for its users.

Businesses that fail to manage their reputation and update their listings with the most accurate, detailed, and consistent information now run the risk of not ranking in searches when they would have in the past.

Schedule your FREE demo with Chatmeter and learn how you can easily manage your reputation, boost your star ratings and update your listing information for each of your business locations.