Google Pigeon Update for Local Search

Google Pigeon Update for Local Search

Posted by Rudy Labordus in Marketing Tools Leave a Comment

Google Pigeon Update for Local Search

It had to happen, and it has. The newest Google update, named Pigeon, is all about local search results, and Google Pigeon has had some rather wide reaching effects.

Aimed at bettering local search results and tying local results more closely to standard web ranking signals, Google Pigeon is still being measured as to its effects on local sites. A few of the more obvious changes are noted here, but in general, first impressions are indicating that large brands and sites that are not true local sites are not faring as well.

Let's have a quick look at what the first impressions of this Pigeon are, and how it is impacting local search results.

3 Initial effects Google Pigeon is having on local search

  • Strong brand directories are winning – Directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor and are seeing an up to 10 percent increase in traffic and rankings, often showing up multiple times for a local search.
  • Smaller map radius – The view shown by Maps is now in many cases much smaller, reducing the number of businesses found in an area, and consequently opening the door for more directory results in order to have anything to show at all. This makes it problematic for locations just outside the exact search area to be found as a choice in a neighboring locale search.
  • Phasing out of the 7 pack – Far fewer local search terms are benefiting from the increased visibility of the 7-pack. While larger search terms still show this, most now show a 3-pack with a reduced map radius, or nothing at all. The real world traffic loss experts are reporting that a local business not showing up any longer in the map pack is losing 16 percent a month. Quite significant.

The Pigeon update still has a lot of shaking out to do, and there could be more changes to come, as there always are with this kind of algorithm shift. The best thing that local site owners can do at this point is make sure they are well-optimized in the local directory results, as that could be all you get for a while.

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