Many webmasters have noticed screwy Google location results. On Twitter, Google’s Gary Illyes said that they are aware of the issue:
@screamingfrog @JohnMu we are looking into the numerous reports we got about this. Thanks for the ping!— Gary Illyes (@methode) 26. Mai 2015
Unfortunately, Gary Illyes did not say what exactly changed and why it changed.
Is this related to a Googlebomb fix?
Some days ago, Google updated the Google Maps ranking system:
“This week, we had some problems with Google Maps, which was displaying results for certain offensive search queries. Like many of you, we were deeply upset by this issue, and we are fixing it now. We apologize this has taken some time to resolve, and want to share more about what we are doing to correct the problem.[…]
Building upon a key algorithmic change we developed for Google Search, we’ve started to update our ranking system to address the majority of these searches—this will gradually roll out globally and we’ll continue to refine our systems over time. Simply put, you shouldn’t see these kinds of results in Google Maps, and we’re taking steps to make sure you don’t.”
The local ranking changes happened shortly after Google released the algorithm fix. Google has not confirmed that the ranking changes are related to the fix.
At this time, this might be a bug, or it is an algorithm change. We have to wait and see.