Google’s local search ranking algorithm has been updated to enhance its “openness” signal for non-navigational queries, according to Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison.

What Changed. Google ranks open businesses higher in local search rankings than closed ones, according to a report by Joy Hawkins in November 2023.

Google confirmed. Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that “openness” has been a part of their local ranking systems for some time and has recently become a stronger signal for non-navigational queries.

Navigational queries. Non-navigational queries focus on specific services, like a pharmacy, while navigational queries search for specific brands like CVS.

Don’t change your business hours. The report suggests that businesses operating 24/7 can benefit from maintaining their ranking even when competitors disappear, thereby enhancing their overall performance.

Google now displays more open businesses during search times, which may be beneficial or detrimental depending on the query.