Google Updates Local Search Algorithm


Last week Thursday (24 July 2014) Google released its new algorithm update which, though yet unnamed by Google, has been dubbed Pigeon by SEOs. The new algorithm will have a noticeable impact on local search results, mainly within Google Map Search but also in the Google Web Search.

So far, the algorithm is only affecting U.S searches in English, and though Google has not yet made an announcement about if and when the update will roll out in other countries, we can be pretty sure that it’ll be implemented here soon.

It’s All About Local Organic Results

As with all algorithm changes in the past, the aim of the Pigeon update is to provide Google users with more useful, relevant and accurate search results. The noticeable change with Pigeon will be in your local search rankings.

Some businesses may see either and increase or decrease in website referrals, leads and business from the change. Unfortunately the algorithm is too new to really report anything concrete, however it has seemed to fix Google’s problem with the local directory sites such as Yelp.

Before the update, Google wouldn’t return results from Yelp in organic search even though users explicitly used the term ‘Yelp’ in their queries. This bodes well for other local directory sites that are likewise expected to see a boost in organic rankings.

Other known information about the update includes that it will have close ties to their existing Web Search capabilities. The algorithm will take into account the hundreds of ranking signals already in place for Web Search as well as information from the Knowledge Graph, their spelling corrections and synonym recognition.

What makes Pigeon shiny and new is that it improves on Google’s distance and location ranking parameters, or at least, is supposed to.

Unfortunately that’s all the info we have about Pigeon so far, but more is sure to come to light as SEOs analyse their data after the update and as it is rolled out in more countries and languages. Stay tuned…