As of July 24, 2014, Google has updated their local search algorithm which determines how your site ranks on the search engines. The changes are already visible within Google Web search results and within Google Maps. As always, Google is attempting to provide better results to people looking for businesses in their local area.
You are not alone if you have already seen your rankings or referrals.
How Will “Pigeon” Effect Your Business?
Someone from your area searching for a local business used to display a Google Carousel or pack of results followed by a list of results or individual business listings. Now, however, you will see social directories such as Yelp, Urbanspoon or Groupon with other search results further down or even on page two.
For local businesses who have not spent much time on Search Engine Optimization, this update was not as beneficial as it will be for directories. Your business will likely notice an effect on your rankings, making you work harder and smarter to come out on top of searches.
Even with extra work, it may cause your business to show up less often on local searches, but those who do find your business will be better qualified than before.
However, your business may not show up as often on local searches as before, but the relevancy of your exposure may increase as those finding your business are even more qualified than before.
How Your Business Can Win With “Pigeon”?
You must have a Google page for your business. If you don’t have one, make one so that your business will appear in local and carousel results. Your information must always be current to increase leads leading to better local search results.
With organic search results moving from your website to directory sites, identify directories that are relevant to your business and get listed on them. This will increase the odds that you are found.
If your business is no longer showing up in the standard list of 7 business addresses and phone numbers called the 7-pack, focus on organic SEO to make sure that you are appearing in the organic results. Some examples of techniques used for organic SEO include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content relevant for human readers.
Always make sure your website’s information is up-to-date and and easy to find. Keep information handy and easy to find. Such as business hours, pricing, business type, etc. The the changes, ensuring traffic and referrals come to your site. And drive those reviews – managing your reputation has never been more important.
The Google “Pigeon” may definite bring added work to your business to maintain or get your business at the top of the search results, however – the added visibility within popular directory sites will add another search engine option for your customers to find. Stay current with organic SEO, business information on your website and ensure that you are listed in all relevant directories and you can overcome Google “Pigeon”.
Carnduff, B. (2014, August 1). Google Updates Local Search Algortithm. Retrieved from Brent Carnduff Accessible SEO: http://blog.echelonseo.com/goolge-updates-local-search-algorithm-pigeon-update/
Dunham, M. (2014, August 4). Local Business Marketing. Retrieved from Signpost: http://blog.signpost.com/google-pigeon-algorithm-update-local-listing-business/
HigherVisibility. (2014, August 1). Local Marketing and the Google Pigeon Update. Retrieved from Small Business Trends: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/08/local-marketing-google-pigeon-update.html
Schwartz, B. (2014, July 24). Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties to Web Search Signal. Retrieved from Search Engine Land: http://searchengineland.com/google-makes-significant-changes-local-search-ranking-algorithm-197778