2014 has proven to be a very active year for Google’s algorithm. In fact, Google has been coming out with change after change without much warning for Webmasters and website owners in general. The most recent update the Google implemented to its algorithm was named, “Pigeon”. This blog post is going to go into detail and explain the reason for Pigeon as well as describe what this update means for your (or your client’s) website. Additionally, we will give a prediction to why we think Google implemented this update and what it means for the future.
What Is It?
To start off, Pigeon was named by Search Engine Land because Google never gave it an official name. With this update, Google had a goal in mind of improving local search results by enhancing the distance and location ranking variables.
Google mentioned that this update is a meant directly for local search and that it leverages hundreds of ranking signals (such as spelling correction, Google’s knowledge graph, and synonyms).
This means that local directory websites are going to see an increase in rankings and traffic. Many people believe that this update was meant to be an extension of last years “silent Hummingbird” update. Many people are arguing that the search results are not being benefited with this update because it is benefiting search results WITHIN search results (think Yelp) instead of the actual search engine (Google).
What Does It Mean For You?
Essentially, what Pigeon means for your website is that directory listings are more important than ever, and that you may be seeing a boost in traffic, or you may be seeing a decrease in traffic. Our recommendation (as always) is to run some tests yourself. Simply open an incognito window and search for your business name; is it appearing in the local carousal? Was it before?
If not, then this update means a positive change for your traffic, if it was and there are now more local businesses on the carousal, you have some work to do.
Our recommendation is to double check all of your directory listings. An easy way to do this is use the Moz Local tool. You want to make sure that all of your information matches across the directories and your website. Additionally, you want to make sure that there are no duplicate listings.
Also, make sure to add local micro data on your website to help Google see what area you target.
What Does It Mean For The Future?
It seems as though Google is moving more and more in the direction of making people use PPC, and increasing the variables (and difficulty) for ranking in organic search. However, we don’t give up! The fact that so many changes are happening to the algorithm means that we have job security. Not only this, but it means that we have to make sure to always be on top of our game. Local search is going to become one of the most important factors in leading people to your business. If you haven’t started optimizing for local, start! If you have been optimizing for local, continue doing so.
If you would like Marketing Giant to take care of your local online presence, contact us today.