The "Vicinity" update is a Google algorithm update impacting local businesses, local pack results, and map searches.
Increased focus on the "proximity factor". This is just a fancy way of saying that Google wants to show results that are actually near the person searching. After all, if I want an "Italian Restaurant near me", I probably don't want a result that is 50 miles away.
The business name has less value in search results now
Many businesses that did not have the keyword in their names were invisible before but are now appearing!
Secondary locations for prominent businesses (can you add a new location for your business?)
Businesses that were keyword stuffing in their business name have seen a large drop in their rankings
Businesses that were ranking far away from the person doing the search
This all correlates with the actual map size being modified to a square from the former rectangle. New results now appear like this on a desktop
Bottom line...Google local search, local packs, and general map results are critical for small businesses who are dependent on location specific clients and customers. Now, more than ever, you should be focusing on your Google Business Profile, your local SEO, and writing appropriate content relevant to your location(s).
How has the update impacted your business? Let us know in the comments below