How Will Local Search Be Impacted by Google Pigeon?

by | Oct 23, 2014

It had to happen, and it has. The latest Google Pigeon update is all about local search results, and it has had some rather wide reaching effects.

Aimed at improving local search results and tying local results more closely to standard web ranking signals, Pigeon is still being weighted as to its effects on local sites. Some of the more obvious changes are noted below, but in general, first impressions seem to be indicating that large brands and sites that are not true local sites are not faring as well.

Let’s have a look at 3 ways Pigeon is apparently impacting local search, and what if anything there is to do about it.

3 Ways The Google Pigeon update is affecting local search

  • Strong brand directories are winning – Directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor and are seeing an up to 10 percent increase in traffic and rankings, often showing up multiple times for a local search.|
  • Smaller map radius – The view shown by Maps is now in many cases much smaller, reducing the number of businesses found in an area, and consequently opening the door for more directory results in order to have anything to show at all. This makes it problematic for locations just outside the exact search area to be found as a choice in a neighboring locale search.
  • Phasing out of the 7 pack – Far fewer local search terms are benefiting from the increased visibility of the 7-pack. Even though some larger search terms still show this, most now show a 3-pack with a reduced map radius, or nothing at all. The real world traffic loss experts are reporting that a local business not showing up any longer in the map pack is losing 16 percent a month. Quite significant.

The Google Pigeon update still has a lot of shaking out to do, and there could be more adjustments to come, as there always are with this kind of algorithm shift. The best thing local site owners can do at this point is make sure they are well-optimized in the local directory results, as that could be all you get for a while.

If you would like to discuss how you can improve your local directory optimization just give us a call: 918-878-0555 or fill out our contact form.