Google | 7.28.14
A new report released by Search Engine Land notes that Google has released a new algorithm update that will affect local search engine results. The new algorithm has no official name yet from Google, but Search Engine Land has gone ahead and dubbed it the Pigeon Update.
Google Pigeon Update
Released last Thursday, it’s Google’s latest update for providing even more useful, relevant, accurate local search results and further tie them to traditional web searches. This new local search algorithm update will dive deeper into Google’s web search capabilities, tying together all the signals they use in web search including components such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, and synonyms. This update will also revamp Google’s distance and location ranking parameters for a more relevant search for the user.
Core changes of this update are mostly behind the scenes so users won’t be seeing a noticeable difference. However, an update released on Friday from Search Engine Land concludes that local directory sites will be getting better visibility in Google’s search results and businesses may quite possibly notice a increase or decrease in site referrals and leads.
Google vs Yelp
Additionally, Google’s Yelp problem has now been resolved and Yelp profiles will now show at the top of Google search results when a user specifically includes the word “Yelp” in search queries. Earlier this month, Yelp accused Google of manipulating search results to show Google’s own local search listings over Yelp’s, even when a user included the word “Yelp” in the query. You’ll notice in the local results below that Yelp now falls as the number on result when “Yelp” is included at the end in the search query:
Overall, well-known business directory sites such as Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Urbanspoon will benefit with higher visibility in local search results thanks to this new Pigeon update. Users who seek local results in Google will receive a more relevant and accurate search experience. For local businesses that have not updated profile information on those big-name local directory sites, it may be time to do so to take advantage of this new update.
Better Local Visibility for US Businesses
The update is currently rolling out in the US in English results to provide better and more relevant search results for users seeking local results. No word yet from Google on when exactly this will be available in other parts of the world or in what other languages.
Stay tuned for the latest. In the meantime, if you have noticed any recent ranking changes or referral changes for your local business, please let us know!