Google Pigeon is the informal name given to a major update that Google rolled out to its local search algorithm in July 2014. It has had a significant impact on local search visibility and rankings for businesses and other local entities, making it an important concept for marketers to understand.
In the past, local search algorithms were based on traditional web search methods, often overlooking more important signals such as location. With the introduction of Google Pigeon, local search rankings are now based more on factors such as geographical location and relevance of the listing’s information to the search query.
Google Pigeon has had a major impact on local search rankings, as it has enhanced the understanding and use of web signals from local sources such as business directories, mapping services, and other local sources.
The main objective of the Google Pigeon update was to provide users with more relevant local search results and make them more accurate. It also aimed to provide a better user experience by connecting users to the most suitable local entities.
When looking to optimise your business website for local search optimisation, there are certain guidelines and best practices you should follow to ensure it reaches the most relevant local search audience.
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The first of these practices is to create a Google My Business profile. This is a free listing that allows you to provide details such as your business address, hours of operation, and photos. Having an up-to-date listing will ensure that your business is indexed by Google and better connected to customers in your area.
Another important practice is to ensure that all of your content, such as blog posts, pages on your website, titles, meta descriptions, and URLs use local keywords. This is important because Google includes geographic keywords in their searches and will reward websites and local listings with the most relevant use of these terms.
Making sure that you have inbound and outbound links to other local business entities, such as those in your local area and directory listings, is another crucial factor for local SEO success. This will help create credibility and validate that your business or website is relevant in the local area.
Finally, Google also takes into account user behaviour and review signals when ranking local websites in their local search engine results. If customers share their experiences with your business across social media and other review sites, this will further boost your rankings.
For businesses, the focus should be on creating a consistent local presence and ensuring that customers have a good experience with the brand. This means creating a local presence in the digital space, interacting with customers, and proactively gathering customer feedback. These are all tactics that will help give a business a good online and local presence that will benefit from the effects of the Google Pigeon algorithm.