On July 24, 2014, Google introduced a new algorithm change which relates mostly to brick and mortar stores and local listings. In the absence of an official name to the algorithm, the good folks at Search Engine Land aptly nicknamed the update Pigeon, after the birds that always fly back home.
How does the update work?
The algorithm change is designed to pull accurate search results for local brick and mortar businesses that have a listing online. The algorithm uses the web search capabilities of Google to list local search results pretty much like how the standard search results are displayed. Also, there is less favoritism toward the Google Places listings in the search results.
Here are some of the things that you need to know about the update.
Local listing disappears for a large number of keywords
A major change after the Pigeon update is the lower number of queries which include a local listing. If your website has experienced a drop in traffic, it could be because of the loss of some of your local listings. You can make up for these losses with the help of a PPC campaign to get the web search listings back up for these keywords.
Local rankings will also rely on website authority
After the update, the local directory sites have received a boost in rankings. Some search results may even be built completely from reputed directories. This means that it is very important now to build a solid presence in the local directories of your industry.
Local carousel remains unaffected
The local carousel results are still the same, and have not been impacted by the change. The carousel listings remain a great way to get some exposure for local keywords. Ensure that you use a good image in your business profile to make the best use of the carousel.