Google’s 2017 Update to Waterfall Suggestions with Major Brand Sites

Will Google’s Latest Waterfall Update Hurt Local Business?

In case none of you noticed, Google was sneaky today and added brand websites into the Google waterfall…

Now, these were major name brands, so what does that mean for the little guy? Well, if you do some simple searching, it means one less waterfall suggestion and one more major brand in searcher’s faces so that they don’t choose your local site. Yikes!

The good news is, even that is debatable because the new site results are resulting only after someone has nearly entered the entire brand name. And some brand names do not result at all, like Apple, Chevy, Ford, Starbucks, and other major brands – WHY?

Why do very few local places make the cut, like Steak 954 here in Fort Lauderdale versus our amazing digital marketing agency Tandem Interactive? Is there something in this magical, waterfall algorithm that makes some major sites rank and some local sites rank, but not others? In fact, there might be. After doing some digging, we found that sites who had their brand name and location in their homepage title tag were getting listed in the waterfall. Local restaurants who had their brand name in their URL, their title tag, and had their geo-location in their title tag seemed to be resulting in the waterfall suggestions. However, we are not 100% that this is always the rule.

Since this may be a test, we will have to wait and see, but you can bet that the very best digital marketers will have to wrap their head around this one if Google decides to make it stick. How can a mom and pop beat the never-ending game of Monopoly if Google keeps rewarding massive sites with extra advertising space? One thing that we do know for sure is that this may be part of Google’s master plan to increase consumer experience in 2017.