Report: Google Local Ranking Now Looks If A Business Is Open Or Closed (Business Hours)

Business Man Locked Out Of Closed Store Google Logo

Joy Hawkin and team posted about a new Google local ranking factor – the factor is is if a business is currently listed as open or closed based on its business hours. She said businesses that are currently closed are now ranking lower than they did a few weeks or so ago. According to this report, Google’s local ranking now looks at business hours of operation.

Previously, businesses that were closed because it was after hours, like it is 6 am and they don’t open until 9 am, would rank just as well at 6 am than they did at 9 am. But now Joy said Google looks to see the time someone is searching for a local result and if that b business is open or not.

Joy wrote, “As of November 2023, Google appears to be looking at whether a business is currently open as a ranking factor for local pack rankings.”

In this example, this is how a lawyer ranked when they were closed vs two hours later when they were open:

Google Local Closed Ranking 1

This is a psychiatrist’s ranking on the weekend, when they are not open, compared to that same keyword on a week day when they are open, she showed:

Google Local Closed Ranking 2

She has a screenshot of how well that lawyer ranked in the local pack in October:

Google Local Closed Ranking Before

I am going to check this, I took these screenshots around 6 am and I will update this story around 9 am to see how they change:

Lawyers Google 6am

Here is the lawyer local pack after 9am:

Lawyers Google 9am

Web dev query at 6am:

Web Dev Local Google

At 8am the web dev results changed based on potentially open/closed hours?

Web Dev Local Google 8am

Here is what it looks like at 9am:

Web Dev Local Google 9am

Forum discussion at Local Search Forums.

Update: Danny Sullivan from Google said it is unrelated to a core update and he is not sure if it is or is not a ranking change:

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