August 18, 2014

Google has recently released a new update to its algorithm which mainly targets local businesses on Google Maps & Google Search listings. Although Google has not specified the exact name of the changed algorithm, it has been unofficially called as ‘Pigeon Update.’

Silent Points About Google Pigeon Update:

  • While the Pigeon Update works in the backend and affects how local businesses are listed on Google Maps and Google Search listings, there would be no effect on the front end display or arrangement of listings.
  • The update is intended to simply refine the search results and show more relevant results for local search queries higher in search results.
  • The update will make extensive use of the Google’s organic search ranking signals and search features like knowledge graph, spelling correction and synonyms. The new update will also improve Google Local Listing’s location and distance based ranking parameters.
  • Currently, the new algorithm only affects the US English based search results. There is no information on when the new update will affect business listings in other locations and languages.
  • It is unlikely that Google rankings of E-commerce stores without physical locations would be affected.

How to Benefit from the Update?

Although Google has not revealed the details about how its algorithm work but based on the information present, you can actually plan and benefit from Google Pigeon update. Here are few important tips:

  • Check Your Listings: Optimize your Google Plus business page. Your listing should have clear information about your business establishment along with its proper address, phone numbers, fax numbers etc.
  • Customer Reviews: Ask your customers to give feedback or reviews about your products or services on your business’s Google Plus business page.
  • Get Listed In All Major Local Business Directories: If you are not already listed on major local business directories, it is important to get your business listed in top local business portals like Yelp, YellowPages, CitySearch etc.
  • Local Citations: If possible, local citations should be generated through usage of local media portals, classifieds and business directories.
  • Maintain An Active Website: It is important to maintain an active website that is regularly updated and have various local/ social elements in it.

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