One of the biggest algorithm update keeping in mind the local search results, Google rolled out the Pigeon algorithm on July 24, 2014. The Pigeon update was designed to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to the traditional web search ranking signals. To know more about the Google Pigeon Algorithm Updates, keep reading this article till the end.
The main changing factors behind this update work behind the scenes, i.e. the distance & location ranking parameters, but it does make an impact on the local search results rankings. With the Pigeon update, some local businesses may notice an increase and some may notice a decrease in their leads and business.
Google had stated that this new search algorithm helps tie deeper into their web search capabilities & the ranking signals they use in web search. The Pigeon update was designed to merge the results on the web with local results to provide improved rankings.
This update aims to strengthen the ties between organic and local search indicators and deliver the results. Hence the local search which is useful and accurate will not be penalized. Google directed its efforts to tie up local search results with Google Maps results.
In the end, this saw a shrink in the number of local searches as now the SERP would show only the ones which are physically near. The merge of web results with local search results was a hint to all the local business owners to get themselves listed online and compete in the local search results.
Features of Pigeon Update
The Pigeon update changed the shape of how local results appeared. The biggest change a user would get to see with this update is the switch from seven local results to three local results which we see today i.e. 7 pack view to 3 pack view. Google has gradually reduced the number of local search results from ten to three by 2015.
Take a look at the below example for better understanding.
Well, there’s a logic behind the limited number of local results for mobile queries is that the mobile screen is small, the mobile users tend to be impatient & for mobile queries Google knows the location of the user precisely.
Secondly, the most important feature is that to improve its local search capabilities Google enhanced its hundreds of ranking signals for both Google search & Google Maps. This, in turn, improved Google’s location & distance ranking parameters as now the results were based on proximity.
Advantages of Google Pigeon
Google pigeon benefitted the local owners as well as the end-users in several ways. Here is a list of the advantages of Google Pigeon:
- It will provide better search results for people searching using Google Maps or other Google platforms.
- Local businesses that are trying to build their online presence organically would be rewarded as Google has given local directory sites more authority now with better search visibility.
- The users now would get the information they needed in a fewer click as the SERP would display results within a certain radius & relevancy of a user’s search.
- By rolling out the Pigeon update, Google has improved its ability to see past spelling errors in searches. So, your website’s search results will not be affected by spelling mistakes in SERPs.
- The local organic search results now have a higher chance of showing themselves on SERPs as the number of local pack results is powered by Google.
Impact on SEO
With Pigeon’s large focus on local search results, by optimizing your website for local terms you can help improve your rankings 7 get listed in smaller location packs. You cannot control a user’s radius but you can control the factors which influence your search like:
- Quality Backlinks: make sure that you have good-quality sites linking to yours. This improves Google’s trust in your site and improves the domain authority.
- Local content includes a range of different content like texts, images, and videos about your location. This will improve your chance of ranking for searches related in terms of your area.
- Report Spam: If you happen to visit a low-quality site that is spam or untrustworthy, just report it to Google. It will eventually drop the spam website form its rankings thus making a space for your site to rise.
Thus, giving a meaningful place to the local sellers and extending the organic search, Pigeon was widely cited as the most impactful local algorithm ever since Venice Update of 2012.