Google Pigeon marked another update to the search engine’s algorithm. Contrary to what you may think, it was coined by Search Engine Land – not Google. This change was rolled out on July 24, 2014, and specifically affects local businesses.
The sites that were already well positioned with local keywords will likely benefit more than sites that aren’t yet well positioned. The idea behind the change was to make local search more accurate with an emphasis on the Knowledge Graph.
What are the Effects on Local Businesses?
In order to make sense of the Google Pigeon update, you must first understand local search marketing. Sites that have focused on categorizing businesses by geography will benefit the most by this update.
Websites that use city names as keywords, along with niche descriptions of their businesses also benefit. Aggregate sites with local listings such as Zagat, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon and OpenTable are now likely to show up below the carousel, as per the Google Pigeon update. Local search marketing and SEO all come together.
Individual businesses, however, may be pushed further down the list, depending on the industry. The restaurant industry, for example, has so many establishments in each town that organic results will likely not show individual restaurants until page two.
But a niche business that doesn’t have many competitors will have a better chance of showing up on the first page of search results.
Pigeon is still a Mystery
Not much else is known yet about Pigeon, other than the fact that Google now appears to list Yelp links in search rankings when Yelp is used as a key search term. It’s still not clear if and when Pigeon will be rolled out in other countries. In the meantime the Google Pigeon update, local marketing and search results seem to be positively converging for sites already optimized for geo-targeted search.