What is the Google Pigeon Algorithm Update?

Pigeon was released in August 2013 and has been called ‘challenging’ in the area of local search ranking. Let’s look at what this means for businesses.

The Pigeon update implemented by Google has made its mark with Google maps search and the web search. The update seeks greater accuracy and relevancy but has impacted on some local searches. Resulting in some businesses experiencing fluctuations in internet leads. Additionally, it has updated its distance and location parameters.

Pigeon has changed its parameters

Pigeon aimed to connect local search algorithm more closely with the web algorithm and to make improvements on the ranking through looking more closely at parameters. Experts believe that the parameters were narrowed. This created a landscape of businesses being excluded from search results. During the early stages of Pigeon many businesses found themselves outside of the parameters. However, over the years Google has made further improvements to the way it analyses the distance between a business and the searcher.

By creating content that associates with the local area where you are doing business you will improve business presence. Producing images, articles and other forms of media will support your cause and give you a greater chance of ranking.

7 pack to 3 pack listing

It’s been reported throughout other algorithm articles that this roll out caused many challenges following the implementation of this update. One change being the old 7 pack style being replaced with the 3 pack listings. This has also affected the visibility of some businesses. Leaving many business owners wondering how they can improve their chances of being noticed and successfully competing for leads. Being ranked in the pack is usually influenced by a business’ organic ranking. Therefore, consider how you can build on and improve organic ranking through optimised and quality content, as well as links to reputable websites.

Additionally, work on getting some great reviews which will help with ranking as well as trustworthiness. Furthermore, fix any issues you have on your website making it fast and usable. These practical steps will give Google good signals about your site thus, in time improving your ranking. Moz.com advises us that, “Local SEO focuses on the citations, NAP consistency, and reviews. But let’s not forget about domain authority and good old-fashioned content and links.”

Read our blog on the Possum update to understand in more depth how Google filters its local search results.


Dealing with spammy businesses

Another initial issue was the increase of spam businesses finding their way into the listings and removing legitimate business. Currently, Google still relies on people reporting the violations and spammy business in order to make changes. Reporting online violations to Google to make room for genuine hard-working businesses is an important process. Reporting violations should to be done in a careful manner. Follow Googles guidelines and don’t report legitimate business which might be your competition.

Feel free to get in contact to discuss any issues or guidance required.