Google Pigeon UpDate: What you Gotta Know!
About a month ago now, Google rolled out a brand new update to it’s web results search algo, and it was quickly noted and named by the SEO community as the “Pigeon” update. And while it did make changes to the overall rankings for web search result serps, it didn’t happen up here in the google.ca world till just this past week – at least our whole Canuck client roster was unaffected till then.
So, what’s this Pigeon update and what do you need to know about same?
Basically, the aim of the update is to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. And unlike Penguin and Panda updates, this is not a penalty-based update (aimed at cleaning the SERPs from low-quality content), but a core change to the local search ranking algorithm.
Get that? The Pigeon update is to make modifications to the local search ranking algo only….ie if you search for say “hamilton restaurants” then it’s those results that have been changed/updated – or so the intent of same was made by Google. Here’s what just that search showed up this morning at google.ca….
As you can see, I’ve shown the web search query term, put the local Google Local Pack Maps results in the big rectangle and then noted below the results for the local Hamilton directory/review sites that are so new to the serps in the oval outlined areas.
So if over the past few days your website has encountered a traffic drop, this may well be due to the disappearance of certain of your local listings.
If that is the case, in the short run you may need to cover the traffic losses with a PPC campaign, and in the long run — focus on getting Web search listings for those keywords.
We’ve noticed that the new local search algorithm is said to be more tied with the traditional Web search ranking signals. Simply speaking, this may mean that local rankings will now be more determined by domain authority, backlinks and all kinds of other SEO rankings factors. Again, if your local rankings have suddenly dropped over the past few days, this may mean your site’s general SEO characteristics lack behind those of your competition.
Run a thorough competition research to see how your backlinks, content and other SEO characteristics stand to those of other high ranking websites.
Notice too, that the oval areas are now pointing at what Google has decided are the best local directory or review sites that they are now using to rank your channel’s best sites…in this case Hamilton restaurants. To succeed in this area, you’ll need to identify which directorys these are, and then ensure that yes, your own SMB site is listed and updated as completely as you can get done asap! Oh and a great way to identify same would be to go over to whitespark.ca and look for citations for your channel….and then build same using their handy online tools! I did for a client and have already gotten some traction for them and the simple fact that whitespark is a totally online tool where my results and citations builds are all on-screen is cool!
Lastly, one might ask – so….is this Pigeon update done? That is, once I work with same….things will remain nice and static right….
Wrong. If there’s one thing us SEO practitioners know, it’s that noting in Google-World stays the same for long….Google