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Contact South West Web Marketing What Does Google's Pigeon Update Mean For Your Business?

Google’s latest algorithm update was rolled out on July 24th. Its aim is to improve your organic local search rankings. Although it was given no internal name at the time, the website Searchengineland.com decided to call it “Pigeon” and that name has stuck. It’s actually a slightly confusing name to give this algorithm change, as there was a update called PigeonRank back in the 2002. This update though has nothing to do with improving how your site's PageRank is calculated however.

The latest Pigeon update has several key implications for business owners who rely on local web and footfall traffic for their business to survive.

So to make sure your business does not suffer unnecessarily, it’s crucial that you are aware of the changes to the search giant and tweak your online marketing to make sure you stay ahead of your local competition.

Google Is Trying To Deliver More Relevant Local Search Results. The aim of Google’s Pigeon update is to improve organic local search results, to make them more relevant and useful to your “average guy on the street” searcher. The focus is on improving reliability in determining your physical location, mixed with delivering a more contextual and relevant search experience. The end result being to tune into local consumer needs in a more efficient way.

So as an example, if you are standing in the middle of central Bristol, and you type in the word “pizza”, rather than thinking you want to know what the ingredients of a pizza are, or that you want to travel ten miles to eat one, Google will now deliver restaurant and takeaway search results that are more tightly targeted to your exact location.... yummy!

How Will The Pigeon Changes Affect Local Businesses? The first major thing is that Authorship seems to be vanishing from local search results. In the past, Google Authorship was a way of improving your search result visibility, through Google displaying an image of you from your Google+ profile.

The second change is there are now less “seven pack” results. This is where highly relevant local businesses are grouped for easy eye scanning.

Thirdly, quality local web directories seem to be coming back into the search results. In the past directories took a hammering from Google, erasingthem from most of the organic search results. However, it appears that high quality local directories such as Yelp are now making a return to local search.

As a local business, you need to be ahead of your competition. This means understanding the changes that have occurred through Google’s Pigeon update and compensating for them right now.

1. Look at your on page SEO. With less emphasis on seven pack results and more emphasis on organic listings, you need to take a look at your on page search engine optimisation:

Make sure your full business details are listed in your site footer
Make sure your physical location is listed on key pages
Make sure your social media accounts work hard to emphasise your location
Look at your key search terms and make sure they emphasise location and business area
Link your site to any obvious local reviews of your business

2. Look at your analytics. You should also have a good look at your web analytics data. In particular, look for changes to the search terms people are reaching your site from... Have they changed since 24th July?

If the search terms have changed, then you need to look at the old search terms which used to bring you traffic in detail. Can you make changes to existing pages, or add new content to continue bringing traffic from those old search terms?

3. Consider directory submissions. And finally, are you listed in quality business directories for your region? Make sure you have a high quality listing in both your national directories and any smaller local directories. This could include business listings on local newspaper sites and other trusted local sources and business directories.

Although the Pigeon update doesn’t appear to have rolled out fully in the UK (as of this moment), it’s worth taking action now to ensure the effects are minimal.

For more details email helpme@finda.directory

Tags: SEO, Online Marketing, Business Directories, Social Media