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  Google’s ‘Pigeon’ – Perhaps a Dumb Bird, But a Smart Algorithm in Terms of Local Search

Posted by Kevinjcull on August 29, 2014

Just a couple of weeks ago, Google unleashed yet another new algorithm – hard to keep up, isn’t it? This algorithm, known as Google Pigeon update and named by Search Engine Land, involves local search results and provides the user with results that are more relevant, accurate, and useful.

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Developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google founders, the PigeonRank system makes it possible for Google’s search engines to deliver incredibly relevant results in a flash – much faster than would ever be possible using algorithms that are machine based or human editors. To explain all of the technical details of how the patented PigeonRank system works would likely leave you more confused, just rest assured that Google engineers work tirelessly to make sure the system works.

What we do know is that over the past couple of weeks, webmasters have reported considerable changes in how their websites rank locally. And – thankfully – Google Pigeon is not about penalising websites as the Penguin and Panda updates were, but instead aimed at delivering better results locally to users. The result? Many local listings have disappeared for an astounding number of keywords. What to do?

Has your traffic dropped in recent days? If so, it could be that your website has dropped from some local listings. Over the long term, you will need to concentrate on getting listings for keywords in which your website has disappeared; for now, recoup your traffic by implementing a PPC campaign.

Because the new Google Pigeon local search algorithm is more in line with traditional signals for web search, your rank in local search may be determined by some of those factors formerly associated with overall SEO rank, such as quality back links, content, and domain authority.

You will probably see a boost in your local rankings by listing your site in quality local directories such as Touch Local, Yell, CityVisitor, BizWiki.co.uk, and other quality directories where citations can be listed. Depending on your industry, you can find useful information regarding citations by category at MOZ.

At SEO Service Pros, we have a few more practises we highly recommend for local search, so that the Google Pigeon update doesn’t leave your business behind in local rankings:

Create a Google+ Local page for your business, and verify ownership of the listing.

Be sure to choose the proper category for your local page, include a local area code rather than an 800 or toll-free number, and make certain your NAP information (name, address, phone number) is the same on your website, citations, and all business listings.

It may be helpful to include your service or product keyword in the title of your business. For instance, an accounting firm may wish to use the business title “Davis Accounting Firm” rather than “Davis & Associates.”

Make sure the title tags in your website’s local landing page contain the city or state you hope to rank for.

Google Pigeon update began rolling out the last week of July, so it’s not too late for you to take action to help improve your local ranking and increase visibility. While a pigeon may not be the smartest of birds, Google is certainly no dummy when it comes to delivering relevant, useful results in local search!

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