“The only permanent thing in this world is change.” ― Totò

Google, the master of the Internet, came uninvited with its strategic update, The Google Pigeon*, triggering shock waves to the world of local SEO. Google Pigeon brought in a drastic change which had a direct impact on local search results; the way how search results are ranked and how organic the website traffic is. The aftermath led to a different way of handling and understanding location signals eventually giving hand to Search Engine Optimization.*Named by Searchengineland.com

Why should you care?

Google Pigeon is a major algorithmic update which instantiated strong interconnections between the local algorithm and core algorithm(s). Although Google launches new minor and major algorithms each year, for instance Google Panda (2011), Google Penguin (2012), and Google Hummingbird (2013), one must be well concerned about how it would affect business through search results, either positive or negative.

Let’s say you have a Brick & Mortar business and Pigeon update is on the loose, you are sure to experience a terrific impact sooner or later, if not already. This is solely about local businesses and from our early observations, a good number of queries which were local have been moved to traditional web search category by Google. This means that if your website had been doing well in the local searches for certain keywords, chances are that it may have disappeared altogether if these keywords have been shifted to web search.

Is it too early to be concerned?

The answer to this is an abrupt YES. As of now, Google has just given a “Trailer episode” of Google Pigeon, impacting few data centers in US. Little do we know about the magnitude of impact Google Pigeon can cause when rolled out worldwide. So it’s always a better choice to buckle up ASAP and prepare for what has to come.

What Next?

Now the focus is on web results as the local search algorithm is tied up with traditional web search algorithm.

  • Check if your NAP (Name Address Phone) is consistent across all the local sites.
  • Strengthen your Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo, Bing local pages and create engagement there.
  • Make sure the profiles at review sites are promoted as Yelp is ranking significantly.
  • Improving content on home page, landing page with local elements.

Witnesses of Google Pigeon update:
Google Pigeon update draws local search results very meticulously to standard web ranking signals, benefitting massive directory sites that have stronger SEO capabilities. The directory websites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, Craigslist, RealEstate.com, etc., witnessed a tremendous change in their search ranking performance after the update. Needless to say, though the positive impacts are enormous, it in fact had lots of negative impacts as well. They are those medium and smaller businesses and websites which have fallen prey into the deathtraps of Google.
How one of our clients got benefitted by Google Pigeon update:
After the Google Pigeon rolled out on July 24, 2014, we caught an unusual change in our RADAR, charting a significant hike in traffic of one of our clients.


P.S.: It’s obvious that Google rolled out an update that would entirely change the way how results appear. But lots of issues have arisen – in the case Expedia, Inc. - giving an open call to Google to further work on it. Hence we are yet to see the hidden dragon which is crouching beneath the Google hood. So now is the time to prepare a nest for the Pigeon to harness its habitat.

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google pigeon update

About Guna Nadar

Guna Nadar

Brief Info about Guna Nadar +

I mostly write technical aspects and not much into creative writing. For the past decade I worked along with top notch SEO & Internet Marketing professionals which naturally lured me into the world of Search Engines. When I am not writing I read from comics to philosophy.Antiques, Fishing, hunting are my passions. Currently I am working on Google Penalty protection and .... more info