A couple of months ago Google released an algorithm update called “Hawk”. The update is specifically geared toward local search. It helps local businesses and branch offices more than national brands. However, here's a quick explanation all the same.
Previously, Google would assume that similar businesses in close proximity to one another might be the same business trying to be listed more than once. The result was that many businesses would not be listed in a search. That is now fixed.
Essentially, 'Hawk' helps filter local search results better than previously to ensure it includes all those businesses that are similar and yet located near each other. Previously, Google could mistake them as duplicates of the same business and as such filter some of them out of the results. This was common for businesses such as cafes.
While some businesses may still struggle, like those that share office space including medical centres and other service organisations, most businesses will see an improvement, and the searcher will get better results.