On July 24, 2014, Google released an update to improve its local search algorithm. This new update is intended to leverage traditional web ranking signals in order to provide more accurate and relevant search results for the user. Though Google has not officially given this local search update a name, Search Engine Land has decided to title this update “Pigeon.”
What have we noticed from the Pigeon update so far?
It’s been a little over a week since this update rolled out, and in that time, webmasters and search experts tracking local search results have reported a noticeable change in the local “pack” results, or the map results displayed for a given search. In the graph below, you can see the days that were most heavily affected by Pigeon, as well as the stability that resumed on July 29, 2014.
The following are some of the most significant changes that webmasters have noticed from the Pigeon update:
- An apparent decline in the number of local map pack results for a huge number of search queries – from 6-7 local map pack results to only 3
- An increase in exposure and rankings for local business directories such as Yelp and Zagat
- An overall improvement in search results according to distance and other location ranking factors
What should your business expect for the future?
- A lot of change in rankings while this algorithm rolls out, especially for small, local businesses
- More directories appearing in the search results
- A better mobile experience for users that are shopping or looking for near-by businesses
Like other Google algorithm updates, it is difficult to understand the entire purpose of these changes during the early phases of the algorithm roll out. Here at The Search Engine Guys, we will be keeping an eye on the Pigeon update and will provide more information when it becomes available.
If you have questions about how this update may have affected your website or business in the search results, please contact us today at (512) 394-7234.
August 4th, 2014 – Posted by Nancy Tran to Search.
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