Google’s Pigeon update, which rolled out in the U.S. on July 24, 2014 has now rolled over last week to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and all English speaking regions, except India.
Pigeon update provides a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. Pigeon update aims to provide more relevant and accurate results, and it affects both web search and map search. There has been a reduction in the number of 7-packs that show in local queries, and increase in 3-packs. Businesses are now less likely to show in organic results and map pack on the same search results page.
Many studies of Pigeon have pointed towards more importance being given to traditional organic search ranking factors, such as domain authority and links, while pure local signals have lost power. The new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters, which means that results are based on a circle around user’s location, not the city center. The search radius has been reduced for most local queries.
Local directory-style sites like TripAdvisor.com are benefiting with higher visibility after the Pigeon update in some verticals.
How to Respond to Pigeon Update
- You need to have an optimized Google Plus local listing (Google My Business), claimed by you. If you have duplicate listing, get rid of them.
- Focus on creating original, useful content for your users
- Optimize your website content for local areas served by you (include city/state in title tags, H1s, content, and schema.org markups)
- Try to get positive reviews from customers posted on Google My Business and other review sites like TRipAdvisor.