What to Make of the Recent Google Pigeon Update for Local

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

The 3 Effects of the Google Pigeon Update on Local Searches

Do you have a website for a local business? If you do, you should be concerned about the recent Google Pigeon Update as it is said to impact local search results. The update took effect July 24, 2014 and has an algorithm that is designed to improve local search results that are closely tied to customary net search ranking signals. Google intends to make distance and location ranking factors better with this update, but what do you know about it?

You can have be having a really bad business time recently without knowing that it has something to do with the newest Google Pigeon Update. Businesses relying on local searches are experiencing certain a difference as a result.

Strong directory Sites Got Stronger

Since the new update was rolled out, it seems that the ones with the stronger SEO signals, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, are benefitting from it. There are reports that these sites are seeing up to 10 percent increases in both rankings and traffic.

How does this affect your business? If you’re a directory, the Update will be your lucky charm, but if you’re a startup or a small company, you may have to quadruple your efforts and link with really influential networks to get to the top of the search page again.

The 7-pack Goes Pfft!

There used to a 7-pack before the update. This is a listing of the top seven local choices that interested customers can readily see once the search is made. After the Update, all these disappeared. Is it something that local businesses must be happy about, or does it foretell gloom and despair?

Even without fully understanding the full impact of losing page one rank, it is a discouraging effect for those who once made it there. Now, these sites have to work hard again against stronger brands to gain their old ranking.

The Mini Map

There is definitely a change in the size of the Maps with the Update; they have gone smaller. This logically reduces the quantity of businesses that can be shown in it. This invites a user to look for more directory results. With a smaller 3-pack and a reduced map radius, many local businesses are not showing up anymore. Experts have already reported a 16 percent drop in traffic for many sites since the Pigeon has flown.

Google Pigeon Update is thought to have been designed to improve local searches. There are certain factors that can influence local rankings such as backlinks, domain authority and other SEO-related ranking factors that are not completely understood by local businesses. Not knowing whether the Update is good or bad for business can make them helpless when dealing with dropping traffic.

Take the experts’ advice; find out about the top 20 local ranking factors, work on your local SEO, and make sure your business is on a G+ platform. 

 

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