Local Search Changes With Google Pigeon Algorithm
So did you hear about the significant change in the google algorithm that was quietly announced this week? If your digital marketing and SEO strategy involves Local SEO and Local search, you should be very interested in this new algorithm change that Search Engine Land has named Pigeon, and it may put a dent in your SEO strategy. Say hello to the new Google Pigeon Algorithm.
The purpose of this latest algorithm update, according to SEO Guru Barry Schwartz, is that this new algorithm is to provide “more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals.”
You will likely end up seeing these changes within a search result in Google Maps and also Google Web search results. Most of the key changes will be less visible to the user. The important part for SEO’s and digital marketers is that this Pigeon update does impact local search results and rankings. It’s totally possible for some local businesses to see a increase or decrease in rankings, referrals, and website conversions.
The New Pigeon Algorithm
Google told Search Engine Land that their new algorithm, is tied deeper into the search engine’s ranking signals and web search capability. So much is involved including search features like Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, and synonyms.
They also said that the new search algorithm will now better help Google with their distance and location ranking parameters. Geographical search is always an important element when us SEOs are executing an SEO strategy on a local business using local seo tactics.
Essentially this means that Google’s previous search capabilities are improved big time within Google Maps.
Why This Change This Time?
It’s all about the increases in mobile search. Google has made many changes recently and they all point to an increased priority at Google with mobile search. Remember Google Authorship photos? They have all but disappeared form search results and many think this has to do with poor click through rates on mobile. Google removed them to improve mobile click through.
So with mobile search being a priority for Google and a much needed function for users, local SEO and local search has to become a major factor for google in deciding what’s relevant to show to answer the users search query.
Remember that Google looks at the semantics of your search query in order to determine if a local search is appropriate. Normally, the user could include a location name in their search.
This isn’t always necessary because the new search algorithm is more clever than that. The search engine today can now make valid assumptions about searches and decide whether it is best serving location-relevant results or broader search results.
Thanks to Search Engine Round Table for pointing out that a search term “Ice Cream” showed very different results when searched three days before the algorithm update, compared to the day the update was announced.
How Will It Affect Your Local SEO?
If you operate a small local business, you may notice some changes to your positioning in the SERPs. You could also find that you have an increase or decrease in your web referrals or even you website sales.
It’s important to note that we’re still unsure what percentage of search queries this new update will affect. Google is normally pretty good at letting the community know this information.
All businesses that operate bricks and mortar locations should also be aware and monitor this update because those types of businesses will most certainly be involved with localized search targeting.
The new algorithm update is rolling out for US English results and hasn’t yet announced details about if and when the update would roll out to more countries and languages.
Was Your Local Search Affected By The Pigeon Algorithm?
If you notice any changes with your local SEO, rankings, and referrals, please let me know. I’d be very interested to see what sort outcome your website has seen from this update.
If you’re in need for a local SEO refresh, or even a full on website SEO audit, please contact me today. We offer a free basic website marketing and SEO audit, recommendations, and an action plan to get your local SEO back on track.
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